Trying without consequence

When we learn to walk as kids, when we learn to do most things in our early years, we just keep trying until we get it. We get it wrong. Again and again and again, until boom! We can walk now.

Then we get older and the stakes get higher. You can’t just try, because you do not want to fail. A social consequence, perhaps – your peers laugh unkindly. An academic consequence, maybe – you don’t get to take the next course. It’s more important to get it right, than to try earnestly not knowing if you’ll succeed. How much higher would we aim, if we were confident it wasn’t all or nothing?

I’m not advocating complacency, I’m saying let’s create environments in which people can merely try.

The reason there’s historically more innovation among the wealthy? They could afford to try, to fail, to keep trying. We can’t just raise expectations and expect more creativity – we have to lower the consequences of failing, too.

Everyone should feel encouraged and able, merely to try.

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(Photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash)

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