I’ve been ruminating on the Arnold Schwarzenegger clip I shared earlier this week.
(I link to it below.)
All the books, audios, and courses I’ve ingested have more or less turned my brain into a search bar for self-help content. Re: Arnie’s comment on it being ok to fail, the software of my memory turned up this little ditty…
I recall someone saying that the most remarkable thing about Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, was his ability to laugh at failure.
Whenever one of their initiatives flopped, and many did, he’d get a wry smile on his face, shake his head and go “wow that really didn’t work.”
Then, he’d simply say “what next?”
If I was to rewind to when I started Evolution Fitness and catalog for you all the things we tried, it would fill a few journals (and indeed it does – I kept all my notes from that period). Looking back, most of them didn’t work. A few did.
It’s why we even had a business at all.
During my brief stint in stand-up comedy, I wrote pages full of set ups and punchlines. I quickly realized about 10% of it was funny. The catch is the only way to know which 10% to keep is to stand in front of people and let 90% of your stuff bomb. Do that ten times and you wind up with five minutes of material that will do reasonably well with most audiences.
Call it accelerated failing.
The interesting thing is, in either case it never occurred to me those failures could be reasons to stop. I just figured that was the process. Sounds like Fred Smith had the same idea.
In fact, I’ll go you one further…
The more I fail, the smarter I get.
Besides, if that’s your approach, and every attempt results in either a win or a lesson…
Do we ever truly fail?
Here’s that video again:
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