When I was down in Fort Smith yesterday, Kathy Karsten and I were talking about the highs and lows of growth. She said something that made me pause as I was walking out the door, "You have to fail forward." Each of us has probably experienced some version or another of our own perceived "failure." Whether it be a "failure" to do something, "failing" to succeed at something, the list can go on forever, but is there such a thing as failure? Especially when more often than not, it is our perceived "failure" that moves us forward. Life is always teaching us. We get to work and we're learning every day. We go home and we're learning every day. When we take away the power of letting things define our success, failure becomes neutral. It's no longer good or bad, because what failure really means is that we're trying, and if we're trying, we're moving forward. So often, in my own life, and through talking to others, I see where our perceived failures keep us stuck. We get trapped in our own circumstances, or in other words our own "stories." We have them. Some of us carry them around with us. We bring them to work, we bring them home... they sound something like this, "I've never been healthy, so I'm not going to be healthy." "I don't have time to take care of myself. I have too many other things to do." "I'm too old." "I'm too fat." "I'm not smart enough." "Why would it matter?" "It's too late." All of these statements in some way or another disempower us. There is no perceived failure that is a dead end. There is no failure, except the failure to try.
At Zero Mountain, the value is in what we give every day. It doesn't mean that there won't be mistakes, growing pains or days that are stressful. As long as we keep trying, every day, to show up and make a difference, that's what matters most. So, keep going... as long as you're "failing forward," you're getting somewhere.