Attempting

Something I learned early on in life is that it’s always worth it to go after what you want. Living a limited life by not pursuing what’s in your heart is a guaranteed ticket to mediocrity and disappointment. Earlier this week, I had one of those rare experiences in life that can only come as a product of the attempt. In my head I saw one thing, but in moving forward, I got to see something much bigger. Although the outcome wasn’t perfect, the experience and subsequent memory was well worth the cost of entry. Lesson learned: the best part is often the attempt itself.

When you attempt things you will make mistakes. It’s inevitable. You can spend days, weeks, or even months preparing for something and find that reality has a thing for mazes. Dead ends, confusing exchanges; whether you like it or not it’s par for the course. When mistakes do happen, don’t beat yourself up. Realize that whatever you did in that moment is what made the most sense. You did what you did based on the information you had. Wasting your life kicking yourself over the little stuff is silly.

What matters is that you made a decision. You showed up and tried. Most people sit on the sidelines wondering. Wondering is fine for a little bit—you don’t want to go in completely blind—but eventually you have to make a choice. There’s something to be said about the person who is willing to make the attempt over the one that cowers in their thoughts. Each choice made is an opportunity for learning. For seeing something new; a different perspective.

Ultimately, whatever happens, happens. The important thing to remember is to enjoy and make peace with whatever the outcome. Unless you’re the one picking out the winning numbers, you never really know what might happen. After you’ve made an attempt—whether it works out or not—reflect on the positives. What did you learn? What did you get to see that you might not have? How did this experience change your outlook on life for the better?

Morrissey said it best: “shyness is nice and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to.” When you feel the spark: go for it. Taking the chance and making the attempt will show you a side of yourself that you may not be aware exists. Don’t let the good outcomes make you cocky or the bad ones dissuade you from trying again. Any attempt that can show you the depth and truth of your own heart—and a chance to believe in yourself—is time well spent.