A Little Trying Never Hurt Anyone

There are times when you read something, watch a show or listen to a song and none of the information that passes through your mind is relatable – you can’t find a modicum of your own woes in the words, so you beat on. Then, there are times when an act or a happening triggers those words and you remember what you read, watched, or heard and when you revisit it, you realize it’s completely applicable to your current situation and that someone has perfectly formulated what your chaotic thoughts can’t do on their own. This is one of those times.

A couple hundred years ago Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. Never leave that ’til tomorrow, which you can do today. This is the man who discovered electricity; you’d think we’d pay more attention to what he had to say. I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of rejection. Sometimes the fear if just of making a decision. Because… What if you’re wrong? What if you make a mistake you can’t undo? Whatever it is we’re afraid of, one thing holds true: That by the time the pain of not doing the thing gets worse than the fear of doing it, it can feel like we’re carrying around a giant tumor. ‘The early bird catches the worm. ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’ ‘He who hesitates is lost.’ We can’t pretend we haven’t been told. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time; heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day. Still, sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug until we can’t anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin meant. That knowing is better than wondering. That waking is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure, even the worst most intractable mistake, beats the hell out of not trying.”

I’ve made so many mistakes and I’ve wasted so much time but at the end of the day, I know I tried really hard. And it’s not the trying so hard on my part that hurts the most – it’s that you didn’t even want to try.

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