Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

One of the best lessons I ever learned was that it was OK to fail. It is OK to make mistakes. Failure has a wonderful way of teaching you lessons, sometimes very painful lessons, that you can use the next time you tackle a problem. You may not learn the lesson the first time, or the second, or fifth time, but eventually each failure will teach you something you can use later.

How did I learn this? By recognizing one crucial thing – no one starts off being the best at something. All the greats of anything did it through hard work, something you can read about in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and his 10,000 hours idea (that to truly master something you need to spend 10,000 hours on it).

And you know what? The first thousand hours were probably filled with failures.

And the best part about failure is that when you succeed, that’s all anyone will ever remember.

 Devil's Advocate 

Failure Is Good

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

Cant Fail CafeThis Devil’s Advocate post is really borderline Devil’s Advocate because it’s not entirely in the spirit of taking a position against something that’s considered prevailing wisdom. You could say that the prevailing wisdom is that failure is bad, success is good; but as the advocate I’m not advocating that you should try to fail. I’m merely saying that failure itself is not a bad thing, much like success itself is not always a good thing; it’s all in context.

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 Personal Finance 

Exchanging Time for Money, Stupid Expenses, and Failure

The talk of middle class has come up a lot lately, in part because there’s no clear definition of middle class, but Lazy Man shared his thoughts this week on the topic and I thought this quote was a gem: “… unless you love what you do exchanging time for money is a losing proposition.” I think that many of us grew up in situations where money wasn’t abundant and saw education and a job as a way to more money. Whether it was brilliant parenting or actual fact, I grew up thinking we didn’t have much money (books were my toys) but we still considered ourselves “middle class” be we didn’t go hungry, we didn’t struggle to pay bills, and we were otherwise living comfortable and happy lives by any standards. As a result, I saw a job, which was attained through strong academic performance, as the way ensure I could provide for my family. The point of getting a job was to earn money, survive, and then thrive. In my jobs, I was exchanging time for money for something that I enjoyed but can’t say I loved. Now I am exchanging time for money for something I do love and I think I’m much happier because of it. (The italicized sentences in the paragraph were ones that were originally accidentally deleted in the editing process when I first published this post)

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