Many of us dream of achieving something significant in our lives, yet we are often paralyzed with fear of failure, fear that we might lose our lives, fear that we might lose our money, and even something as silly as being fearful of other peoples ridicule.
All of those fears are caused by dwelling on the negative without balancing it with the expectations of achieving something positive — actually succeeding. Instead of thinking “what if I fail?” , we should be imagining “I will succeed!”
Building rockets is not new, the US government has been at the forefront of these for decades already since the late 60’s highlighted by the American success of landing on the moon. For so many decades, rockets made by NASA and their teams continue to transport people and satellites to space. However, the cost of building them were huge. Until one man envisioned a new solution — a rocket that will do a similar job but is ten times cheaper to build and operate — Space X.
In 2002, Elon Musk conceptualized Space X. The aim is to build rockets that are more efficient by a factor of ten compared to NASA. They need to be cheaper to build and operate. Many people including the government scoffed at the audacity of Musk to even conceive such a thing — surpass and improve NASA’s decades of experience in building rockets. People laughed at Musk.
For many years since 2002, Musk and his team designed, built and attempted to launch prototypes of their design into space. They failed and failed and failed in their attempts, burning both their rockets and Musk’s money. For six years they continue to crash and burn. Their failures would have broken a weaker character, give up and lament at those failures. But not Musk. After several years of failure, Falcon 1 reached orbit in 2008, they’ve made it. And the rest is history — Space X was awarded numerous contracts by the US government and other countries that continue to this day. Their success meant income earnings for SpaceX and more efficient use of taxpayer money.
Elon Musk is one eccentric thinker who is not afraid to take
For us, our dreams might not be as grand as Musk’s, but our degree of risk taking should be calculated to a practical level of confidence. How do we gain that confidence? By learning as much as we can about how to achieve our goals — read books, attend formal training and most important of all — experiment. By experimenting, we achieve first hand observation of what can possibly happen, and it allows us to practice at relatively cheaper cost before putting our entire resources into it. Perfection is not the objective here but achieving a reasonable degree of confidence with the amount of knowledge and experience that we have is enough to proceed.
Then just go for it! There are only two outcomes — you fail or you succeed. If you fail, treat it as a lesson that you can use to learn for the next goal. Failure is not final. It is a great teacher. Only those who try can clearly see what does work and what doesn’t work. Those who will never try will not have that luxury of knowing about it for sure because they have not experienced it.
On the other hand, you have a much bigger chance of succeeding compared to others who will forever be just dreaming about it. As Gretzky says “You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
You will always be a failure if you don’t take action.
Go take your shot at glory!