A great model to allow yourself to fail

February 19, 2013 by Joshua
in Blog

This model is one of my most important ones I think about almost daily. It fits with my practice of having low standards the first time. It also enables you to act on the perspective most successful people I know of realizing the importance of failing.

The scene is a martial arts class. A few students learning from a great master. The students ask the master how he never loses his balance.

He asks, surprised, “what do you mean?”

They say “You’re always on your feet. You never fall. How do you never lose your balance?”

He says, “On the contrary, I’m always losing my balance, but I’m always recovering.

I love this line. It tells me I can fail. I just recover. As long as I keep recovering, I keep succeeding. When you do that, people on the outside see mastery.

I used to think you prepared to prevent mistakes. I wanted to avoid mistakes. Now I prepare mostly to have the presence of mind and skills to handle things I can’t foresee, not to try to avoid mistakes completely. I don’t think you can avoid problems. Nor do I see as much value in avoiding mistakes as I used to.

I value handling problems and solving them over avoiding them any day.

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