Remember the day that you took the training wheels off your bike, only to swerve down the path a couple of feet and meet your best friend, the pavement?
Remember when you started playing that video game Contra? You couldn’t put it down because you just had to conquer the game. Up-up-down-down-left-right-B-A-start.
Remember when you were in school and you had to write that paper for creative writing? As you turned it in for review and grading, you wondered if it was your best, or worst work to-date.
Remember when your friend stabbed you in the back, but you chose to accept their apology and keep being friends—over and over, and over and over?
The days of our youth were filled with trial and error. We were unafraid and failure was rarely final.
What would your childhood look like if we were afraid of making mistakes and failure was final?
You’d never learn to ride a bike. After a few falls, you’d quit and walk away—hoping that nobody saw you fall.
You’d stop playing the video game after a few tries and chaulk it up to gaming just not being your thing. Or perhaps, it’s just a stupid game.
You wouldn’t know how to express yourself in writing, and in fact, you may not even know how to type. After all, why would you keep trying to write if your teachers never liked your work? It must be them, right?
You wouldn’t have friends because you would automatically assume that they didn’t want to be your friend.
The point is this, we can’t imagine not being able to ride a bike, never conquering a game, not being able to look in your trunk of memories to find that story you wrote about becoming an astronaut, or ever having a friend to call when you needed them, or when you don’t. At the root of our childhood is risk. It’s how we explored and learned everything we know today. But, something happens when we get older. We think we know, that we have things figured out and perhaps the pain of trying isn’t worth the reward any longer. If that’s you, may I ask one question?
When you’re 65, what won’t you have then because you were afraid to take the risk today? Sure, the stakes are higher, but so are the rewards.