Risk and Fear Archives - Page 4 of 10 - The Meaning Movement

Category "Risk and Fear"

Edison’s Secret to Success (and How You Can Overcome the Fear of Failure)

Thomas Edison tried over 2000 different filaments before he was able to create a market viable light bulb. Some filaments burnt out. Others were too expensive to source. Still others were too labor intensive.

Edison and his team invested countless hours exploring these dead ends. Each filament took days or even weeks of work before it could be discounted as a possibility. Some showed early signs of success— burning bright and seeming to last — only to be proved as a non viable option over time.

Stories say that Edison would become nearly giddy with each failed attempt. He loved failure! He’s credited with saying: “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”

It’s hard for many of us to imagine enjoying investing so much time and energy in exploring a possibility only to come to a dead end— yet that’s the reality of the creative process for Edison. He wasn’t succeeding unless he was failing. To put it in Edison’s words: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

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What All Great Leaders Do (And Now It’s Your Turn)

Imagine a house outside of space and time. I picture a nice three-story Victorian house— burnt red with white trim. The front door is yellow. And it has one of those spires, as every imaginary Victorian house should have.

In the parlor, Johann Sebastian Bach is sitting at the piano, not playing anything. Just sitting there. Just like he always does. Over lunch he talked of his love for music and his almost mathematical fascination with bringing melodies and counter-melodies together. Yet here he’s sitting silently, so afraid of the notes that he might play that his fingers never touch the keys.

In one of the upstairs bedrooms, Leonardo Da Vinci has locked himself in a closet. He’s painting in there— we think. But we’re not totally sure. Whatever he’s doing, he’s doing in secret. No one sees it. Ever. All we know is there’s a door and he goes behind it for a while, and then comes out. Sometimes he talks about it. He makes vague references to techniques and theories that he’s developing. But we’ll never know what they are.

Martin Luther King Jr. sits at the kitchen table, pen in hand, writing a speech or sermon that no one will ever hear. He’s been spending his time sitting there every day, writing. And every time you ask him what he’s up to, he simply shrugs and says, “Oh nothing.” He’s not interested in sharing his work.

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What I’ve Learned From Risk Taking

Fearless February wrapped up last weekend. It was an amazing project. For those of you who may not know, Fearless February is a social project to help you face your fears and take a personal, meaningful risk in the month of February. I shared thoughts on fear, risk, and making things happen every day throughout the month. We had a Facebook group for discussion and connection, as well as a weekly Google Hangout.

Here are 11 things I’ve learned:

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How to Stop Procrastinating and Do Hard Work

- - Risk and Fear, Tools, Work

I’ve been thinking, writing, and talking about fear all month for #FearlessFebruary (a social movement by to help you face your fears in the month of February). Of the many ways that fear affects us, two of the most common are procrastination and distraction.

They happen all the time for me. If I have hard and scary work to do, I find it so easy to do just about anything else. I’ll check email, read twitter/facebook, clean my desk, click on any click-bait that I come across, google any idea that pops into my head, and on and on.

Whether it is writing when I don’t feel like it, clearing out my inbox all the way, creating something scary and vulnerable, or just sitting in the chair and creating something, it’s easy to procrastinate and distract myself.

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How To Be Fearless

One of the most amazing facts about humans is that our identity is a collection of stories. In essence, we are the stories that we tell about ourselves. The choices we make all flow from that identity and thus, from those stories.

Recently I’ve been leading a community of people who are facing fears and courageously making new stories for ourselves. We’re learning that we can be strong, courageous, and adventurous. We’re learning how to be fearless.

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