Fail early, fail often, and fail forward.

Don't let someone that has done nothing tell you how to do anything. 

Have you ever noticed that it is usually the people that have done nothing, who try to dictate what you have going on in your life? You know, the ones that have absolutely nothing going on but try to belittle and discourage your goals and aspirations. The ones who think that their “advice” and “opinions” are saving you from going through the necessary failures in life. 

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Recently, I encountered someone like this during a random conversation in line at the grocery store...we’re just going to call her Nancy (because I don't know her) and due to her consistent attempt to dwell on the unfavorable instances of life. Instances that, might I add, are requisites of personal growth.

Getting to the gist of our conversation, Nancy explained to me that some dreams and goals should not be pursued if they are too big and that people should focus on smaller things to avoid constant failure and disappointments.

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I wonder how life would be if Martin Luther King Jr, Barack Obama, or other prominent historians had the same mindset as Nancy... what would the world be like if people decided not to step out on faith because they were afraid to fail?

Barack Obama’s entire 2008 presidential campaign was centered around the slogan “Yes We Can,” and he did, in fact, do it. I’m sure that he had fear of failing and losing the election...but that didn't stop him from campaigning.  

Nancy’s sentiment bothered me because it’s like saying, “hey, don’t even try it because you’re going to fail...” And that’s completely fine if that’s your own personal mindset (do you playa)...

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....but don’t project that onto other people. 

Besides...what the heck is wrong with failure?

Personally, I would rather attempt to achieve things (even if I’m sure that I’m going to fail) rather than not attempting it at all... that failure becomes proof that I tried...and we all owe ourselves the luxury of trying. 

A new Instagram user by the name of Will Smith recently popped up on our newsfeed providing us with comedy and wisdom. His take on failure spoke directly to this situation. 

Smith says: 

    “Fail early, fail often, and fail forward.” 

Like myself, Will explains that “it’s a little frustrating when people have a negative relationship with failure.” All I can think about is all of the people that are being told that they can't do something or achieve greatness because their aspirations seem too big and unachievable.

I’ve noticed that in predominantly urban areas, parents, teachers, school officials, and other adults have the tendency to minimize someone's goals in order to shield them from what they feel like is a straight path towards failure. On the other hand, in more rural and suburban areas kid’s dreams are being catered to, providing them with the necessary tools they need in order to achieve them. People, like Nancy, can be what's hindering a lot of our children and future leaders.  

Saying things like, “I want to be a writer," "I want to be a musician," "I want to work in film," "I want to be a famous chef," "I want to own my own company,"  are some of the sayings that may have the Nancy's of the world side-eyeing you. 

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I'm sure that Issa Rae failed at writing before she landed all of her successful projects. Now, she's one of the most influential creatives that we have. 

Beyonce and Kelly lost Star Search as children but that didn't keep them from pursuing their dreams (and this happened when they were just children) and they went on to become Destiny's Child, the world's most famous girl group. 

Ryan Coogler wasn't sure how people were going to like Fruitvale Station but he released it anyway (and it was very successful). 

If Jay-Z wouldn't have partnered up with Dame and Biggs to launch their own label after not receiving any record deal offers, there's no telling where he would be. Now, he's on the Forbes List and is a hip-hop mogul. 

The list goes on and on....

The common denominator in all of these stories is that all of these people were probably scared of failure, however, that didn't stop them from taking the chance. That's how they became the people that they are today. 

Failure just gets in the way of people going for what they want in life. Even if you do fail, all you have to do is get up and gear up for your next attempt. It is a great disservice to ourselves if we don’t try at what we want in life.

Quite frankly, being too scared to try something seems worse than failing at something. What’s worse than that is listening to someone who has tried nothing, attempted nothing, and achieved nothing and let them have any impact on the way you see your goals and dreams for life. 

Happy New Year.

Whatever it is...that goal, that dream, or that achievement...you can do it. 

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Blog photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash