Several days ago I watched a young mom with a toddler who was just learning to walk. The child would take a few steps and then fall down. The mom laughing with joy would then swoop the child up and give her child a kiss. She would put her child down again and the entire scene would repeat itself all over. This went on for the 10 or 15 minutes that I stood watching.
The toddler tried walking and failed.
And, each time he failed he was rewarded with hugs and kisses and laughter from his mom.
Then, laughing himself, he would try again.
And, fail again.
Over and over and over again.
The other thought I had as I watched was, “When will it all change?”
When will failure begin to be met with criticism rather than a hug?
When will failure really begin to feel like failure rather than the process of learning something new that is not always easy to learn?
Too soon, I think.
I think about that lesson in terms of my own life.
Somewhere along the way what I learned was that it is important to be pretty assured of success before one begins.
Trying and failing is not option.
Trying and failing and learning and trying again is not an option.
Because of that I turn away from new ideas and from taking risks because the chance of failure appears too great.
I can’t imagine I am the only one for whom this is true.
Yet, at a workshop I attended this past weekend the leader talked about the need to try ten new things because eight will fail and only two will work. Then you try ten more new things knowing that eight will fail and only two will work.
Listening to him I found myself swallowing hard.
I heard truth in what he was saying.
And wondered it would take to become a toddler again.