Martin begins this episode by talking about his 13 year old daughter and her recent run for student council president. His first thought… “Oh no! What if she loses!” And, then he silently figures he’d better prepare a consolation speech for her.
The encounter got him thinking though about a few things. First, how brave she was (only two other candidates -girls- were willing to run) and that somewhere in her mind (perhaps) she had to be accepting of the idea of failure— not winning the election.
Considering the value of being willing to fail further, Martin mentions that in a prior episode he spoke about the idea, what would you do if you knew you could NOT fail.
However, now, thinking about this event, he recognizes that there may be even more power in accepting the possibility of failure and proceeding anyway.
In fact, it’s the acceptance of failure not the rejection that helps to remove the resistance and may actually facilitate getting on started on ANY journey— knowing that they might fail but doing whatever they can to prevent it from happening.
Taking a queue from top athletes the idea of releasing any expectations of the outcome; whether it’s a swing of a tennis racquet, a shot going through the basketball hoop or a golf shot, accepting the possibility of failure allows one to improve and succeed!
After all, if failure is the pathway to success then perhaps it isn’t about “not failing” as much as it is about being willing to fail!
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Willpower Math (blog post)