Aug. 11, 2019

I Want You to Try It

I Want You to Try It

Below is the transcript of episode 9 of the One Last Thought podcast, titled "I Want You to Try It" and I wanted to share it as a blog post, as there is so much value to be gained by these powerful thoughts shared by Dion Metzger and Joshua Spodek. Enjoy.


I've done a lot of things people seem impressed by.


Some of my best memories are of things that I did that were completely out of my comfort zone.


As an astrophysics Ph.D. student, I helped launch an X-ray observational satellites still orbiting the Earth. As an entrepreneur, I co-founded a company that operated on four continents with an eight-digit valuation. As an athlete, I've competed at nationals and worlds. As an artist, I've shown in solo shows and museums in New York. I've written a best selling book. On my own,  I haven't missed a day of calisthenics since 2011, meaning that cumulatively, I've done about 135,000 burpees and going, I haven't missed a blog post since 2010. I've toured North Korea twice, lots of things like that.


As a psychologist, I can tell you that the fear of failure is what is the biggest culprit in stopping people from living their best lives.


I've also done plenty of regrets. I lost control of that company I got squeezed out and what felt for me like a humiliating way. I've had my heart broken several times. I think classmates from business school may have earned more for their signing bonuses than I made in a decade since getting our MBAs my relationship with my father, I think nobody would envy. I haven't found a girl to spend the rest of my life with. As an adult, I've cried from losses and business, sports, and romance.


Do not let the fear of failure stop you from doing anything. I want you to try it.


I'll turn 50 in a couple of years. Despite all my experience compared to some of those achievements and losses happening younger than half my life so far, everything I did felt like the right thing at the time. I'd only do differently knowing what I know. But I know what I know from exactly those experiences. 

Here's the subtle point, telling myself or anyone, the answers in my experience doesn't lead to learning. I've concluded that we only learn meaningfully through experience.


And to this day, even in my late 30s, I'm still doing that I still look for challenges because those are the best memories.


If I told myself then what I know now, the younger me would not have learned from your words, he had to go through those experiences.


And this goes for everything. I'm not just talking about trying hobbies or trying certain sports or trying certain relationships. I'm talking about everything. Whether it's career, traveling somewhere, a sport, getting to know somebody, just try it.


So instead of advice, I've only an observation that had I known it, I would have enjoyed everything more, which is that I don't believe that anyone else can improve my life, even a future me, only living my life can improve me. And every choice I make, I can only do the best I can given my situation and experience.


That is the reason that people hesitate. And it's not because of their own personal fear of failure, but it's also because of their fear of failing in front of others. So if there's a time that you're reflecting on your life, and you're reflecting on the things that you wish you had done, I don't want the fear of failure to be the reason you didn't do it, because that's just not good enough.


From that perspective, up or down, life is as rewarding as I choose to find it. All that said, If I could magically do anything differently, I wish I'd been more humble in teams and that as a young man, I'd approach more girls.