What if you truly could never lose? What if every failure wasn’t the end but the beginning? What if you truly are invincible? What if you actually believed that?
I recently took our four-year old daughter, Aracelli, to the park for a daddy-daughter date afternoon. It was unseasonably cold, so we had the place to ourselves, except for a few brief moments when another family showed up. That was when the little girl Aracelli was playing with taught me a powerful lesson.
Make up the Rules as You Go
Somehow, I managed to be “it.” “It” of course means that I am the designated chaser. No adult ever chooses to be “it” or ever knows why he or she is “it.” It remains to this day one of the greatest mysteries of humankind: the origin of the “it.” But I digress…
As the “it,” I was charged with chasing two little girls around the park. Up and down ladders, over the bridge, down the slides, until, at last, I caught my daughter and tagged her. As I triumphantly celebrated my massive accomplishment and announced the passing of “it” status to Aracelli, Eleanor announced something remarkable:
“You have to catch us twice,” she yelled. She was making the rules up as she went.
She can always win.
She can never be defeated.
What if we reacted that way when we fail?, I thought. What if I could truly never lose? What if I actually am invincible?
“I’m never defeated.”
“I can just change the rules.”
“Let’s try again.”
That is the attitude of a child. It’s the attitude of someone who never gives up. It’s the attitude of someone who doesn’t let failure define her or stop her.
It’s the attitude we should all have.
That attitude that says we can always win.
What if you Couldn’t Lose?
Imagine applying this to life. What would it look like if you failed at your business, but changed the rules?
You didn’t really fail. You just learned how not to do it. What if you had to go bankrupt twice…or nearly three times as the average millionaire does…before you quit?
What would you be capable of if you couldn’t lose?
I read once that many venture capitalists won’t hire a CEO for a startup that hasn’t already failed at business. That goes against everything we’re taught as children. We’re taught the key to success is success. We’re told to pick the most successful people to build a team.
But venture capital firms are looking for people with real experience who have learned from their mistakes. They’re looking for people who failed before and aren’t afraid to get back in the saddle. They’re looking for people willing to make up new rules.
Maybe you’ve failed at something recently. Maybe you thought that was the end of your dream. Maybe you’re ready to give up on your business, your non-profit, your degree, or whatever it is.
But what if this isn’t the end? What if you just change the rules? What if you are truly invincible?
Like that little girl at the playground, it’s time to act invincible. Keep playing the game, never give up, and always remember that if things don’t go your way, you can always make up new rules.
What would you be doing if you knew you couldn’t fail?