I'll keep making those new mistakes
I'll keep making them every day
Those new mistakes
lyrics from Try Everything-Zootopia
Someone threw a balloon at my convention table on Saturday. It was a small yellow balloon, half-filled with air. It bounced off my table and onto the floor. I picked it up. Someone had scribbled some words on it with marker. The words were promotional, but as far as balloons go… it was relatively unexciting.
Try this experiment. Grab a balloon. Blow it up to where you first feel its natural state of resistance —the size the manufacturer intended it to be. Now do something else. Keep blowing. Keep inflating your balloon past that point of tension. Watch the eyes of the people around you as you fill the balloon beyond capacity. What expressions do you see? Fear, right? Anticipation? Tension? Excitement? Everyone is holding their breath as you continue to push the air from your lungs. Everyone is bracing themselves for the inevitable… POP! The balloon bursts and everyone gasps or laughs in surprise. Now, that's an exciting balloon!
Suddenly, the air from your lungs, held captive by the balloon is free to go where it pleases. It has reached beyond the edges of its rubber confinement. You made a mistake. You inflated your balloon too far. Your balloon has popped… and the breath from your lungs is free to expand into the atmosphere.
Life without risk is like the air inside a half-inflated balloon. It pushes without tension against the edges of its confinement. This may make for a nice balloon—it can bounce around without fear of bursting—but all the air will ever know is life inside the balloon. Mistakes are bursting balloons. Mistakes happen when we push past ours competencies, breaching the borders of what we know we can accomplish. Mistakes can be loud, scary, or jarring. But mistakes are ultimately freeing.
Our lives are only as large as the mistakes we are willing to make. Mistakes hurt. They can be embarrassing. Some can even kill you. But mistakes make our world bigger. Once you start making them you learn something else... they're not so scary after all.
Is there something you've always wanted to try but are afraid to?
Pop the balloon.
Is there a goal you're afraid to fail at?
Pop the balloon.
I want to make new mistakes. I want to make them every day. I want to try something so beyond myself, that I have to fail several times to achieve it.