On Risk and Failure

A few weeks, I was hityet again!by a bout of the Doubt Monsters. 

Ah yes, the Doubt Monsters, those nasty blood-drinking things. I think every creative person suffers this ailment from time to time, but for some reason those Doubts really like attacking me! Or maybe I'm just emotionally puny? Hmm....


I was feeling rather ho-hum a few Saturdays ago so I plunked myself on the sofa and proceeded to flip through the channels. Since The Millionaire Matchmaker wasn't on, I ended up watching a show on PBS where three college kids drove across the U.S. and interviewed successful people along the way. In the episode I watched, the kids spoke with a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (holla! i love astronomy!) and they asked him if he had ever faced rejection in his career. 

The scientist smiled a little and rattled off a long list of his stumbling blocks: rejected from grad schools, rejected from jobs, rejected ten times from the NASA space program. So what kept him going through these failures? He answered with a quote:

Those who dare risk defeat.
Those who don't ensure it. 

At this point, a huge light bulb went off in my brain and I raced to scribble down the quote. I've been thinking about it ever since, letting it simmer in the back of my head and trying to apply it to my own endeavors. Mainly, to writing. 

There's power behind these words, don't you think? I feel rejuvenated every time I read them, to press ahead, to keep going. And most importantly, to take that risk, no matter the outcome or the heartache. Because as long as I'm daring to dream, then that dream could someday come true. But if I stop trying, I'm ensuring my own defeat. 

So, thank you, PBS! Thank you, JPL scientist! Today, I'm daring to dream.

Now, I'm off to do some writing!