Sometimes people chalk up their experience to chance. Fate. Destiny. The other day, I was on a plane back from the Adobe Summit and ended up sitting next to an undergrad and a future optometrist. There must be a punchline in there somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet. Turns out, the future optometrist had the best luck of her young life. Do you know why? She was sitting next to two savages. Kayvon, seated in the middle, is a gregarious twenty-one year old entrepreneur who’s about to change the world. If you’d like to see what he’s up to, check out Youfolio. Sure, we can debate until the cows come home if that’s the business which skyrockets him to fame, fortune and the kind of wealth the optometrist can’t even fathom. That’s cool. Debating reality doesn’t change the fundamental nature of things, however. It’s an important concept to keep in mind.
When I sat down, I fully intended to stick my headphones on and check out. Read my book. Ignore the other passengers seated next to me because, after a week of networking, I was determined to get some alone time as fast as possible. My receptors are burnt, I’m drained and emotionally spent. However, once he started chatting up the optometrist, I couldn’t help but listen in to him. Then he mentioned, “Snapchat,” and I knew he was a college kid. I try and often fail to check my ageism at the door in my personal life. Expecting he was young and potentially ignorant, I chimed in, “That’s huge among college kids.” He affirmed, and then proceeded to thoroughly school me. By the end of our conversation, my mind was blown and the optometrist was making gestures, saying, “I can’t even begin to understand you guys.” Both of us, she was mentioning in the same breath. I was stoked that an outsider lumped me into the same category as him.
Why on Earth would anybody want to double their rate of failure?
Simple. Success doesn’t teach us anything significant, other than, “I won.” Failure teaches tons. If you want to learn some epic lessons in the school of life, make a bet, play it out and see what happens. If the cards don’t fall where you want, study. Learn. By the end of our conversation, I realized the universe was trying to tell me something at the conference. The plane ride drove it home in a way that nothing else could. Yep, I’m thickheaded sometimes. It took a twenty-one year old savage to remind me that I can bluster, boast and brag about doing crazy stuff. However, if it’s all talk, not a single one of those dreams will come true. Sure, I’ve been burnt before. The networking event drained me like nothing else.
“This is ten percent luck…fifteen percent power of will…fifty percent pain.” I’m listening to one of my favorite tracks on Pandora by a group called, “Fort Minor.” Or maybe that’s the song. Either way, they have the ratios down. Life hurts sometimes, but it’s those failures, it’s that pain that shows you’re alive.