Why it’s so Good to Fail Big and Fail Often

bird

I was recently inspired by this article in New York Times Magazine called “Be Wrong as Fast as You Can”.  It talks, in no uncertain terms about how the author runs around with tons of super great ideas in his head.  These ideas are fabulous.  These ideas are perfect.  These ideas CAN. NOT. FAIL.  Why?  Because these ideas live only in the author’s head where there are no risks, where nothing is impossible, and  where everything is still potentially perfect.  He talks about what keeps him from turning these ideas into reality.  And the conclusion he draws is that it’s fear of failure that’s keeping him back.

Hmmm.  I have to say this sounds kinda familiar.  How many years of my life have I spent with super great ideas in my head?  You know–the ones that give me something to talk about at parties, doodle about in my dream book, and discuss after uncorking the second bottle of chardonnay?  But how often have these ideas stayed in my head and never made it out into the cold, cruel world?  How many ideas never became real because I still haven’t learned how to fail?

The author of the article, New York Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren suggests that over the years he’s had a lot of theories about what he needs to do quit procrastinating and making his dreams real.  He found his answer in an interview with John Lasseter on the Charlie Rose show.  It seems the folks at Pixar have an in-house theory for success, “Be wrong as fast as you can.”

Yup. I’ve gotta say, I’m hearing some bells ringing here.  If you want your ideas to turn into stuff that can be seen out in the world and possibly, you know, help some people, you’ve got bump those little birds out of the nest to see if they can fly.  Some of your ideas won’t make it.  Some of them will fail.  In that case, I say good riddance.  You were clogging up your brain space with plans for impossible, un-buildable stuff.  Get rid of it.  Make room for another crazy idea.  But some of your ideas will frantically flap their little wings and start to get a little lift.  And now you’re on your way to making your ideas work.

But if you want to see if that little birdie can fly, you can’t push it out of a nest that is five inches from the ground.  You’ve got to give the idea room to get flapping.  If you’re going to fail, you should do it spectacularly.  Don’t fail because you were timid.  Don’t let your ideas fail because you let your fears talk you into half-measures or half-hearted attempts.  You’ve got to endure risk to have the potential for reward.

So, I’m stepping out on a limb right here and announcing that this week I will be launching a new web video show called “Right Now”.  I’ll give you a sneak preview and let you know that in the very first episode we’ll talk about why your body, your mind and your spirit are right now, and why you should stop waiting and pursue what you want in your life right now.

It may succeed.  It may fail.  But if I do fail, I hope I fail spectacularly!

Love,

The Fat Chick

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