As I walked through Kennedy Space Center with my 5-year-old last week, I saw a quote written on the wall that caught my attention: “Failure is not an option.”
Those words got me thinking about the nature of change and how much we struggle to create change in ourselves.
As much as we fight against it, change is inevitable. We sometimes need it, we often hate it, and we’re usually a little scared of it. Without change however, we can’t experience growth. Without growth, we resign ourselves to a life of wondering: What could have been?
Things are going to change, that much is certain—and the one decision we do have is whether to control that change or leave it to chance.
Like many others, I was afraid of leaving the comfort zone of my 9-to-5 job, where I knew I would never fail. Taking the risk to become my own boss was an exciting notion, but doing so required setting my security blanket on fire. But if I was to be successful on my own, I knew I couldn’t preoccupy myself with the possibility of failure.
To me, acknowledging that I could fail was as good as giving up before I started. Moving forward from that realization, failure was no longer an option—and striking out on my own proved to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
5 Quotes for a Better You:
Many of us often struggle to keep the promises we make to ourselves (looking at you, New Year’s resolutions), but we do have the power to change if we stay motivated.
These five quotes will keep us pushing forward when we encounter the many obstacles on the path to self-improvement:
“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Taking risks, dealing with the outcome of decisions we wish we hadn’t made and having the courage to try again—as many times as it takes—are important parts of life. Don’t pass up a chance to succeed just because it’s easier to stay in a place where it’s impossible to fail.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ~ Steve Jobs
Taking inspiration from others is fine—but trying to become someone else is not. Would you rather look back on your life and see that you never said “no” to anyone? Or would you rather see someone who wasn’t afraid to stand up and do something different?
“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lesson of failure.” ~ Bill Gates
When you encounter a setback or miss a goal, don’t just redouble your efforts and try again. Take time to understand why you failed the first time. Review both the positives and negatives of your experiences, consider them jointly and apply them as lessons so your next attempt is more likely to succeed.
“First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.” ~ Walt Disney
Focus your energy on the tasks that challenge you to be creative. If you’re not focusing on building something new—or overcoming a barrier in your life—what are you doing with your time? Life is short, and time is a resource we can’t renew. Think on your challenges, believe you can beat them, dream of a better future and dare to try—again and again, if necessary.
“Success always demands a greater effort.” ~ Winston Churchill
Recognize that even at your highest peak—there’s always another mountain to climb. If you’re lazy following success, that success won’t last long. Likewise, remember that even at your lowest point, you’re still here. If we despair in defeat, we’ll never rise above it. Have courage in your ability to press forward, even when you don’t think you can.
Has anyone ever regretted working harder to build a better life?
Don’t let your dreams take a backseat to comfort. Stay motivated—and keep working toward the future you want. With enough perseverance, anything is achievable.
Author: Daniel Wesley
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Tomasz Stasiuk