Dancing on the Edge of Failure
This might not work. That's Seth Godin’s response when asked to describe creative work. Any time you launch something into existence, preface it with that statement. How many times did Babe Ruth strike out? How many game winning shots did Michael Jordan miss?
One of the hard lessons about sports (and history) is that we remember winners. At the end of a season, nobody looks at a loss on the record and says, “yes, but that was a really close game.” By then, it’s just a loss.
To hit a home run, you have to swing for the fences and be willing to fail spectacularly. You don’t just wiff, you swing that bat so hard it spins you around. Will people laugh? Perhaps. But nobody will laugh when you crush the stuffing out of the ball. You only have to be willing to look stupid a few times.
Nobody’s perfect. I’m living proof. I mess up more times than I care to remember. I botch dates, big plays, you name it, I’ve probably done it. But I don’t hold myself to the standard of perfect. Rather, I push myself to the point where I feel like I’m out of my league. If I’m nailing it 100 percent of the time, I’m probably dancing too close to the safe edge of failure.
If you want to do or be more than you are now, ask yourself, “Am I willing to look stupid?” Nobody’s born a professional tango dancer. We’re only born with potential. It’s up to us to hone our interests and gifts and make something beautiful.
See you on the dance floor.