Anything I’ve Ever Done Well, I Have Done Wrong First — Many, Many Times.

by Dan Oshinsky on June 11, 2012


How about I just put this in the simplest way I can?

Everything I have ever done right in my life is something I’ve done wrong a half-dozen times first.

Every good idea, every well-executed plan, every romance — it’s all the result of complete, total, abject failure. I have never done anything right the first time.

The first time I tried to speak Spanish ended up with me locked in my closet, crying hysterically at the fact that I just didn’t understand the language.

The first time I interviewed a source using a tape recorder, I forgot to press record.

The first time I tried to play guitar, I sounded like an amateur.

The first time I wrote a blog post, the words came out all wrong.

The first time I tried to barbecue ribs, I nearly poisoned my friends.

Everything I have ever done right in my life — anything I have ever learned to do well, and to love — I have done wrong first, and I have done it wrong many, many times.

But what I have learned is that if it really matters to you — if it’s a thing, or a person, or a love, or a project, or a dream — then the first failure is no deterrent. And neither is the second, or the twenty-second.

Most of the people in our world see failure as an excuse to stop trying.

The builders in our world see failure as a chance to learn, and to try again.

I believe that the best things in this life cannot be had without failure — crushing, crippling, head-in-your-hands failure — and without the incredible bit of courage it takes to stand back up and fail again.

If you love something, then you must learn to love failure. It is the only road on which great dreams are made.