Below we are sharing excerpts from one of our favorite blogger’s recent posts. Ramit Sethi shares his thoughts about failure - take special note of his goal to fail 4x a month!
I fell down at a bowling alley.
The best part of this video is that, seconds before I fell, I literally walked over to my friend, said, “Record this,” and handed them my phone, like I was some world-champion bowler.
I wanted to get the video of me taking down this spare so I could brag on Instagram.
Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly go the way I wanted:
By the way, if you go wander over to my Instagram profile, this is the only one you’ll see:
Do you see how stupid this is?
Nobody talks about failure!
ALL of us are living these public lives of perfection, but below the surface, everyone is falling down, just trying to figure it out. All right, true. Maybe not falling down like dumbass Ramit.
But it’s so rare that people will actually talk about the REAL ways they’ve failed. Not fake failures (“I cared too much”), but real failures — the fear, doubt, and insecurity that come with trying something new.
What if I FAIL?
Just like my bowling video, nobody likes to share their failures. We all live perfectly successful lives…on the surface. But inside, they eat at us.
And over time, we get so burned by failing that we decide to give up the “child’s mind” where we used to try all kinds of new things. Now it’s just easier to not try anything new at all. Learn a new language? No, that’s too hard. Try that new workout? Ugh, what’ll happen if I’m the worst in the class?
It’s so easy to stay in the shadows. It’s COMFORTABLE there. Nobody looks at you, and nobody points at you and laughs.
But you also never take a risk to stand out and try something new.
Which would you rather have? A safe life where nobody points at you…and you’re the same as everyone else?
Or would you be willing to take a small risk — not a huge one, just a small one — and dip your toe in the waters of trying something new?
Most of us claim we want to take risks. But if you really did, you would naturally fail as part of the process. So — when was the last time you failed? A week ago? A month ago? Longer?
In Gmail, I have a “Failures” tag, and if I’m not failing at least 4x/month, I know I’m not trying enough new things. If the answer is “I can’t really think of an example,” maybe you’re not actually taking enough risks.
You know what’s funny? When I launched my blog, and tried more entrepreneurial things, I still remember what people said: “Ha, what a ridiculous website. So when are you going to get a real job?”
Only NOW, after 10+ years of writing every single week, people hear I live in apartments in NYC and SF and they see me email ridiculous stories to a list of hundreds of thousands of people and fly across the country for last-minute ski trips, they say, “Wow. Running your own business. That must be nice.”
I didn’t do all this without failing. I did it because I knew failing was a natural part of growing.