I’m not a big fan of the saying “don’t quit your day job,” because it cautions us away from putting 100% into what we really care about.
Instead, I think the saying should be “don’t give up on your day dreams.”
Yes, it’s important to be realistic about supporting yourself by earning an income, but that should never force you to postpone doing what makes us happy.
Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from giving what you love a shot at making you happier than you’ve ever been.
Maybe it’s time to learn how to play that guitar you bought a couple years ago. Maybe it’s time to quit your current job and set out on a new adventure. We can all afford to “fail” for a little bit while we’re learning a new skill or striving to make a big change in our lives.
Failure is not a bad thing as long as it’s not the end of the story. Failure is really just a challenge in progress.
Reframing What “Failure” Is
Failure is often seen as such a negative thing because people can’t separate the now (growing and learning) from the later (long-term success). Short-term failure provides the building blocks for longer-term success. Why deny the fact that when we take risks and try new worthwhile things we will likely make mistakes?
Failure is only really a loss when we give up and back away from a worthwhile challenge or refuse to try again after a setback. As long as we’re willing to learn, failure is actually an opportunity.
Failing: The NASA Way
Bouncing back from failures will make you a stronger person. In fact, the ability to bounce back from failure is exactly what NASA looked for in the astronauts selected for the Apollo 11 mission.
The mission would be the first attempt to put mankind on the surface of the moon, and there were still a lot of unknowns leading up to the launch. NASA knew that if something went wrong in space the astronauts onboard would need to be able to think on their feet — which is exactly what happened just one year later during the Apollo 13 mission, when an oxygen tank explosion required the crew to bounce back from a debilitating accident to safely return home.
That’s the power of failure.
So, don’t try to avoid failure, it will make you tough enough to fly to the moon. Don’t see failure as a negative thing, it’s just a challenge in progress. And, don’t quit your day dreams.