Gary Bacon

Failing to Succeed

In Non-profits have a charter to be innovators, Seth Godin wrote,

“Go fail. And then fail again. […] Innovators understand that their job is to fail, repeatedly, until they don’t.”

It’s interesting, I’ve had an off and on relationship with dieting and going to the gym yet I keep pursuing the goal overall. However, one misconception with working out that I used to have resulted in me being discouraged at the gym. Why discouraged?

When training, one does sets and reps. For example, bicep curls: 6 reps for 2 sets. Or 12 reps total with a rest in between. I thought that if I could not finish a set then I was not properly exercising. I had failed.

Now I realize that failing is the goal. You do one completed set. Great. Then try the second. Only get 3 reps out of the 6 and your arms give out? That’s a good thing! Muscle fatigue. Only then will you build stronger muscle. Two weeks later, complete both sets perfectly? Up the weight until you fail again.

That’s how you grow.

Is dissatisfaction in life the result of failing or from the lack of growth? Are you uncomfortable because “it’s too easy” or because “the struggle is real”?