I was recently asked what I would tell myself if I could go back ten years. Why are the simplest questions, the most difficult to answer?
For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to answer. Everything I thought of felt shallow; as if it was either not impactful enough, or it’d be forecasting events. Neither were things that someone could take with them on their journey.
As I reflected on my past, I realized a common theme – I have made a lot of stupid decisions, I have failed a lot. Personally, professional, physically and everything else in between. I realized I have a certain disregard for failure, embracing the scars etched in me from those experiences.
If asked today, I would say: Don’t fear failure. Embrace your scars.
Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.
Some people see me and think, “That dude is successful,” others look and say “Damn, that dude is a tool” but that’s a conversation for another day. For those that perceive success, what they don’t see are the multiple battles experienced, and the impacts they’ve had – the scars they’ve left on me emotionally, physically, mentally. They don’t realize that the success they see has very little to do with being smart or proper planning, but a shit load of luck and a high-degree of stubbornness not to allow failures consume me.
The successes are nothing more than result of multiple failures, each building on the other.
Thankfully the more you fail, the better you get at it. I can’t quite articulate why that is, but you grow a certain aptitude for assessing situations and coincidently making better decisions. Like most things though, it’s a learned skill. It’s ironic, to get better at not failing you have to fail more.
The key is not the act of failing, but recognizing the failure quickly and adjusting accordingly. Your scars are for you alone to own, they will be the foundation from which you will be built on tomorrow. Wear your scars with pride.