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February 12, 2010
The Fear of Failing

 
 


I have a good friend who announced to me recently that she’s given up looking for her "significant other".  She is healthy, intelligent, responsible, employed, and has a witty sense of humor.  As she tells it, "there are no available men who meet my criteria out there so I’ve decided to give up altogether".

Now I’m not a statistician (I just play one in a daily blog), but I suspect that she’s only met a VERY small sampling of all available men in the world...dated an even smaller sample...and begun a relationship with only a very few...and with that extremely small sample...she’s ready to write off a potentially healthy, fulfilling and happy relationship.

By removing herself from the dating game, she’s effectively removed the possibility of another relationship from failing...

The best way of avoiding a failed relationship is to never have a relationship...

The best way of eluding the rejection of a sales call is to never make the sales call...

The best way of preventing a mistake is to never have an opinion or an original idea...

The best way of shunning responsibility is to never make a decision...

So many times we decide upon the safe path...take the easy way...we settle for the B work instead of A work...we settle for the ordinary instead of demanding the extraordinary...we settle...we quit...we compromise...

Leading is hard...it takes guts and determination...it takes a willingness to let others laugh at your ideas...break your heart...or simply ignore you...it takes courage to overcome fear...

Like most things in life...courage and fear are not absolutes...they are matters of degrees...many times we are subjected to the "lesser of two fears".  My friend’s fear of having her heart broke is stronger than her fear of being unloved...

It’s impossible (and boring) to succeed all the time... failures to allow us to grow and gain valuable experience...failures allows our victories to taste sweeter... winning takes risk...but risk also brings the possibility of reward.

The reward, many times, is asymmetrical.  This means that a much higher payout is made to the winner than the associated risk.  Consider a horse race where 55% of the purse is paid to the winner of the race whereas only 25% is paid to the second place finisher...does that mean that the winner is twice as good as the second place horse?...perhaps the winner is only a nose better over the course of a mile...

Is Bill Gates or Warren Buffet a million (or billion) times smarter or hard working than a factory worker?...

My friend has decided that the momentary risk of failure (a broken heart) is greater than the reward (a potential lifetime of happiness)...

Sometimes failures open the doors for new opportunities...a failed job or marriage might actually free you to do something else...

I recently saw the movie "Up in the Air" where it was George Clooney’s job to go around the country to fire people.  He attempted to console the recently fired by telling them that they now had a unique opportunity to start a new painting with a fresh canvas...

The topic of this blog came to me while watching the commencement speech to the graduates of Harvard by JK Rowling, who admits to being a great failure before setting out to follow her dreams of writing...

I have included the link for your reference:

JK Rowling speaks to Harvard

I truly hope that your successes are large and your failures small...take your shot at grabbing the brass ring instead of taking the safe way out...

Thank you very much for all of your support of OptiFuse where try to hope to inspire the world to grow...



Jim Kalb
President
OptiFuse
jimk@optifuse.com
 
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