#1738 Failure = The Price to Pay

For Leveling Up

In our last couple +1s (here and here), we spent some time with Matt Higgins Burning our Boats and going ALL IN on creating the life we want.

As you may recall, we started by talking about Zelensky and getting rid of our exit strategy. Then we talked about how to conquer our demons by connecting to our daimons.

Today I want to talk about the fact that, as Matt tells us, FAILURE IS THE PRICE WE PAY FOR LEVELING UP.

Let’s get straight to work.

Matt tells us: “In other words, he doesn’t let his losses define him. He may fail, but that doesn’t make him a failure. This is the single most important attribute I see in people who have had unexplainable breakout success. The highest achievers let their wins become part of their identity, to bolster their belief in themselves. … The difference between victory or defeat is leaving the losses behind. Extract lessons, absolutely, but once you pick over the carcass of failure, bury it in the desert and never return to pay your respects. It’s gone for good. Every time these achievers fail, they simply expand their definition of success to accommodate the failure as a stepping-stone along the way.”

He continues by saying: “Dave Chang says that failure ‘is the price to pay for leveling up. We want to hit home runs, and we want to be so good at what we do that we destroy everything around us—but to do that, we have to accept that failure is possible, and even encourage it, because it means we’re taking big swings.’”

And, finally, he says: “It’s not that we ignore failure or avoid responsibility. That’s delusion, and I’m not arguing that anyone should be delusional. You have to be intellectually curious about your failures, figure out what went wrong, and reflect on how to do better next time. You can’t let failure co-opt your identity.”

That’s another Big Idea from the chapter on Overcoming Your Demons and Enemies.



Remember Rule #1 of a noble, Heroic life…


When you INEVITABLY (!) fail, figure out what you need to learn, integrate that wisdom into your new approach and DOMINATE.

Coach Wooden would agree.

In our Notes on Wooden on Leadership, we talk about the fact that he says: “Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out.”

Then there’s Steve Jobs’s go-to guru, Yogananda.

In The Law of Success, he tells us: “Even failure should act as a stimulant to your willpower, and to your material and spiritual growth. Weed out the causes of failure, and with double vigor launch what you wish to accomplish. The season of failure is the best time for sowing seeds of success.”

Then there’s the legendary NFL quarterback Russell Wilson’s go-to guru, Trevor Moawad.

In It Takes What It Takes, he tells us: “Derek Jeter—Russell[Wilson]’s favorite athlete—said what Russell was now living: to be able to hit the game-winning home run, you have to be willing to strike out in the same batter’s box. That translates to football pretty easily. To have a chance to throw the touchdown pass that wins the Super Bowl, you have to be willing to throw the interception that loses the Super Bowl. Those two things live in the same moment.”

That’s Today’s +1.


Failure is inevitable.

It’s the price we pay for leveling up.

When you miss your target, use the data to get better.

Then get back at it. Wiser and stronger than ever.


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