“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis
My mother was worried that I wasn’t walking at 18 months old.
One day, passing by a room where I was, she saw me taking careful, deliberate steps.
When I saw her watching me, I didn’t fall: I promptly and deliberately sat down.
The family lore from this story became that I didn’t want anyone to see me practice: I was going to show my Mom my walking when I was good and ready, and not a minute before.
Decades later, while I’d still prefer to have things all figured out before I step out into the world with my voice and ideas, I also know that it’s not always necessary or even helpful.
Don’t get me wrong: planning and preparation is great, essential in fact.
But too often we don’t launch the new idea, plan or initiative until it’s completely thought out and ready to roll.
There’s cost of waiting until we are completely ready.
When we wait until our idea is “perfect”, we miss the opportunities to glean important lessons from experience: from exploration, not knowing and perhaps even failing.
How we learn and grow, and how our ideas, plans and initiatives improve, is through trial and error, prototyping, and experimentation.
And by taking two steps forward, and one step back, we are actually dancing.
In the Comments below, tell me about a time when you started before you were ready – what did you learn, and how did it influence the outcome?