Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

October 11, 2013

The Price of Progress Is Failure.

You can’t achieve success without failing along the way. Whether you are designing the next generation crossover hybrid vehicle, writing a book you want to be a best-seller, trying to close new business with your target customers, or attempting to lose weight it is inevitable that your attempts at forward progress will end up in failure.

Not complete failure.

But you will fail. You’ll get things wrong.

You’ll screw things up. Hurt yourself. Hurt other people. (Sometimes all at the same time.)

That’s not unusual. Not strange. Not crazy. Not anything out of the ordinary. It’s something you should expect.

You won’t ever get used to the sting of failing. Or the frustration of having to start over. You won’t look at yourself in the mirror and smile as you think about all the things you wish had turned out differently.

You’ll still be as sad, angry, confused, hurt and frustrated as always ever are, but you should remember that failure is a sign of progress.  It’s a reminder that what you are trying to accomplish is important enough for you to keep trying — in spite of your recent failure.

It’s all about your attitude. Like it always is.

You’re robbing yourself when you look at failure as a sign from the cosmos that you aren’t smart enough, aren’t “the right person”, don’t have enough money, or that you ideas aren’t “worth it”. That’s just not true.

Moving forward creates friction. Things heat up. Sparks fly. And it feels like the end product is just another instance of you failing.

Over time you just stop trying so hard. You stop speaking up when you don’t agree. You stop dreaming big. You start hedging your bets and holding back your full potential.

And then you stop failing. And you think you’re winning.

But you’ve really stopped moving forward. You’ve stopped creating sparks. Stopped moving towards where you want to be.

And that becomes more frustrating than what you were feeling before. Instead of just feeling like a failure, you realize that you’re actually becoming one.

You’ve given up. You’ve sacrificed progress for peace of mind.

That’s a trade you’ll always come to regret.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.