Want More Out of Life? You Need Failed Attempts

Failed attempts is a data gathering exercise.

It doesn’t work when I eat like this.
It doesn’t work when I go to bed in this manner.
It doesn’t work when my gym is a 15 minute drive away.
It doesn’t work when I only sleep 6 hours.
It doesn’t work when I drink 3 coffees in a single day.

Failure has such a stigma towards it. Yet, most of us already fail daily. We aren’t eating right, don’t feel optimal, aren’t getting enough sleep, don’t have a good rhythm of things. It gives us more data so that we can figure it out, to optimize our sleep, our diet, our exercise, our work.

So if we can get over the fact that we are failures anyways, how can we move from the list above, to failures where we can grow?

It doesn’t work when I give feedback to my colleagues like this.
It doesn’t work when I treat my clients like this.
It doesn’t work when I only ponder about changing jobs or careers.
It doesn’t work when I market myself like that.
It doesn’t work if I am not sharing my work with people.
It doesn’t work if I’m not putting in the work to the thing I love.

The first list is failed attempts at optimizing life. The second list is the list of failed attempts of someone who wants more out of life. The people that see a gaping hole between the life they have and what they want. But the road to success is littered with failures. Michael Jordan is famously quoted,

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.


We all get one shot at life. If we’re born in the western world, we generally have the same opportunities, the same economy, the same job market, the same audience, the same platforms. Some will never get past the first list of failed attempts. What is it that you have to do to get to the second list?

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