Fail Like a Baby to Succeed is a guest post by Aaron Shaver (@shaversrazor), who blogs at aaronshaver.com. I’ve known Aaron for several years and I think you’ll enjoy what he has to say. Aaron’s a youth minister, an actor, a new father, and is really passionate about Jesus. He and his Elaina wife live in Nashville, TN along with their new son.
My 16 month old son, Caius, went fully mobile about 4 months ago. Since he started walking, the adventure of being new parents has shifted gears for me and my wife. We’re now in constant panic/stealth mode. Baby-proofing the house is not enough when your child begins walking and, soon after, graduates to running. Lately, every room in our house suddenly seems to have “Death Trap Awaiting Your Child” marked over it. Needless to say, raising a fully mobile child has tested my reflexes and heightened my ninja/parenting senses.
My boy as also taught me a few things in his 16 months on this planet. Like, when he wants something, he will find a way to get it. And, the word “shame” is not in his vocabulary. Actually, a lot of words are not in his vocabulary…but for the sake this blog…
WHEN IT COMES TO FAILURE, BABIES DON’T KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD
Babies Don’t Limit Themselves
My son will pull, tug, climb over, or grab at whatever has caught his attention at the moment. Whether it’s the toy we bought for him or the remote control he’s knows he’s not allowed to touch, he will intensely endeavor to get what he wants. I like to think I have that much determination when it comes to my endeavors: work, family, saving money, time management, keeping deadlines…etc. But, I think that, as an adult, I’ve lost some of my determination when I meet initial failure.
You see, no one really has to tell a baby, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again.” My son will try to pick up is foam baby seat and carry it around the house just because. Though it’s too heavy for him to carry, he’ll fearlessly attempt it 5 or 6 times. But, after he fails to pick it up 6 times, he still doesn’t quit. He doesn’t become shamed that he failed over and over. He becomes more determined to find a new way to accomplish his mission.
We Limit Ourselves
As we grow into adulthood, I think we learn to limit our selves –limit our own expectations –we even rest on our pride that won’t let us try again after we’ve failed a task so many times. I become embarrassed at my failures, especially if they are public. Babies don’t. We learn to avoid risks and not to take chances. Babies haven’t. Babies only discover more options. And, they are not yet afraid to try.
BABIES ONLY DISCOVER MORE OPTIONS. AND, THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO TRY.
My son always finds a way to accomplish his mission. Today he still tries to pick up that foam baby seat. He can’t yet. But, he has learned to push it around the house with ease. And, one day, after many, many failures, he’ll be strong enough to pick up that seat and he’ll take it wherever he wants.
Have you faced failure like a baby?
This. is. brilliant. I feel like it’s the beginning of a TED talk.
Thank you! I thought it was great, too. Kudos to @shaversrazor