My daughter taught me to fail more.

Gwen and Thomas at Ladybird Johnson WIldflower Center
Gwen and Thomas

I’ve been watching my daughter grow up for almost two years now and recently she led me to an epiphany. I should fail more and I should do it at many things. I was watching her run around the park a few days ago and I was struck by the way she moved around. Every rock, bump, and obstacle was a challenge waiting to be attacked in a haphazard order. If she fell down, she got up and tried again. In the face of persistent and certain failure she asks for help, but she will give just about anything a go before asking.

What would the world look like if everyone took on life like this? We’d all be a bit more fit I suppose. But, we would also never stop trying new things. We wouldn’t care if people saw us fall down and in part we would not care because we would be too busy trying again.

The world is pretty big to a two year old child, but she doesn’t see it as daunting or intimidating. She doesn’t studiously avoid the playground equipment she isn’t adept on. Everything is a quiet challenge.

I’m off to pickup the gauntlet. Kindly look the other way when I’m picking myself up. Life is too short to live it all walking carefully.

10 thoughts on “My daughter taught me to fail more.”

  1. Governments of most “western” countries would disagree with you. Ideally children (and adults too) should be strapped to something for safety measures.

  2. I read a quote from Bono, which I paraphrase, saying something like:

    I never cared about falling flat on my face, making a fool of myself, I’d just get up and carry on

    Certainly he’s a world class fool sometimes, but he’s also achieved a lot.

  3. The more responsibility you have, the more you might lost when you fail.

    Attachment towards what you have makes you fear failure. Children have almost nothing to loose when they fail. They don’t feel responsible. They aren’t aware of those things they could loose. They live now, not in the present, not in the future. Just now.

  4. Completely agree with you as I do learn a lot from my 9 months daughter. There are instances when she is crying and come near her smiling and she forgets everything and start smiling 🙂

  5. “Forget safety,
    Live where you fear to live,
    Destroy your reputation,
    Be notorious”
    ~ Rumi

    I don’t understand these words quite well, but after reading, This is what came to my mind. 🙂

  6. It is not about failing only. It is about trying and accomplishing.
    Your daughter not only fail a lot, but she also try a lot and learn a lot.

  7. Perhpas you shouldn’t fail more but not be afraid to fail more. If failure is clearly the outcome of an action it wouldn’t make sense to attempt it. However if failure is a possibility then it should be considered but shall not be the common disqualifier from ones action.

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