On Twitter today, I wrote, “Feels a bit like a toddler learning how to walk on this thing,” referring to me. That got me to thinking: how do toddlers learn how to walk? First, they try to stand. Often, they fall down. Sometimes, after a failed attempt, they’ll cry and have to be comforted. But then they try again. They refuse to be defeated. Maybe the next time, they’ll take a step before they fall down. And then, two steps. They know they can do it, because they see the adults around them doing it. And yet, how much patience they must have. How many times must they fall down. And then I thought: what if they didn’t get up and try to walk again after falling down?
Then they would never learn. They would never walk.
Learning how to walk is a microcosm for the successes and failures that come after. You’ll often fail in life. You’ll often fall down. But as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other, as long as someone comforts you as you lie on the floor, slowly, eventually, you will succeed. The only way to fail, is to stop trying.