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What The Greats teach me about success.

mindset

I'm at an age where my nieces and nephews are having their own children, which means that my siblings are becoming grandparents and my mother is a great-grandmother.

We call this new generation of babies "The Greats."

I've decided this means nothing about me being old (okay, maybe it does.)  Instead, I'm fascinated by The Greats and what they teach me about success.

One of The Greats just turned one year old, and he'll probably be walking soon.

Before he walks, he'll try and fail many, many, many times.  He might even bump his head when he falls.  His parents will totally freak out when that happens, until the fourth or fifth time that he bumps his head, when they'll realize he's going to be just fine.

 

Isn't it fascinating how little kids just keep getting back up?

 

It's like they just know they need to keep going, even though they have zero experience with the walking and no evidence that it is possible because they've never done it before.

 

And yet, they try and fail, and try and fail, and repeat the same thing dozens of times until they start walking, in my mother's words, like a drunk sailor.

Eventually, they nail the walking, and move on to grabbing stuff that we're trying to keep away from them.

It apparently never occurs to The Greats to stop trying, like to just one day say, "screw walking.  I obviously will never figure this out.  I'll just keep crawling.  Crawling is fine.  I know I can do that."

The Greats have something that I wish we could bottle and take little sips from as we get older.  They have self confidence -- meaning, confidence in themselves -- not that they can actually do the thing they're trying to do.  They can't.

Not because they've done it before.  They haven't.

Not because there's no risk.  There totally is.

 

The Greats have self-confidence because they're willing to fail.  In fact, they know that they'll fail and they keep trying anyway.

 

The Greats have their own backs.

The Greats are willing to take massive action when it really doesn't make any sense to put themselves at risk.  (Like, seriously, it really doesn't make sense in my family.  Trust me when I tell you that someone always wants to pick them up and carry them around.)

The Greats have an unlimited capacity to fail -- to feel any feeling on the way to success.

 

When do we lose that momentum.  Is it in our teens?  Maybe earlier?  Definitely by the time we reach thirty, right?

 

What's the problem with failing?

I know what my problem is with failing.  It's that I know my brain will be mean to me about it, and that feels shitty.

But it's my own brain.  I could just tell it to chill.

Like, "chill, brain.  We might fall and hit our head a couple of times, but we'll be fine."

So I'm going to try to be more like The Greats.  I'm going to try some things that I've never done before, knowing that I, too, will walk like a drunk sailor, fall and hurt myself, and listen to my brain tell me that "this is a very bad idea."

The Greats are here to teach us a few things, and I'm going to pay attention.

Take care, friends.

 

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