Welcome to The Daily Kind, where we help you stay inspired to raise humans ready for anything.
I'm Kirk Wheeler. It's February 22nd, 2021. I'm so glad you're here.
This whole month, we've been talking about failure being the seed, but what happens once you've gone through the pain of failure, and the growth that comes after, maybe you've even succeeded beyond what you ever could have imagined possible.
Many times what comes next is the plateau, and it can be easy to get stuck there, because it's comfortable. But if we're not moving forward and stretching ourselves further and further to the edge of our potential, then we will never fail again. And that might not be a good thing, because without failure, there is no seed.
“The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
Leveling up is what keeps us coming back to video games.
Feeling stronger over time is what keeps us going back to the gym.
Growing up, I was obsessed with freestyle BMX. This was before the X games, before anyone had done a backflip, much less, a double or a triple, or on a motorcycle, but all of those things are possible now. Every rider pushes themselves forward, and collectively they push the sport forward.
But in any activity, whether it's freestyle BMX, or coding, or lifting weights, or playing piano, name an activity, and there's a plateau. Maybe you've experienced that yourself. I remember the first time I tried to surf my bike with one foot on the seat and the other on the middle crossbar of the handlebars, I fell off the moment I tried to stand up.
It took a full year or so just to be able to coast down the street, but I was able to do it by constantly going further and further and falling and falling, a lot. But there are a thousand things I was never able to do on my bike because eventually, I hit a plateau and stop progressing. I only went to the X games to watch.
But the lessons on failing and trying again are embodied in my physical being, and I have applied this body sense to other endeavors. Wow. When I said body sense, it kind of felt like an odor of some kind. Okay. The thing about failure though, is that we can talk about it all day long, but if we don't have the physical and emotional experience, then we will never achieve what we're setting out to do.
There's only so long we can learn about something by watching, or reading, or listening, to get better. We have to do the thing itself. We need to be defeated by greater and greater things to know what's possible.
So what's the takeaway? ( Takeaway engine now engaged.) Where do you see the humans you are raising holding back in their life? Where have they plateaued? What are you holding back on in your life? How can you demonstrate being defeated by greater and greater things to show the humans you're responsible for that life is about moving forward and getting better.
We all have times we need a break right now, especially we need to rest and recover, but if you get to a place where you don't find yourself failing, or you see your kids not failing, it may be time for a greater challenge.
I hope you find this helpful. Be sure to take care of yourself today, hydrate. And remember, there is no perpetual parenting playbook, we're all learning as we go. And with curiosity is our map and a willingness to be defeated by greater and greater things, we can be ready for anything.
So good luck. You've got this. I'm rooting for you.