good life by andrew allgaier
Part of cultivating a good life is embracing failure.
Life is full of twists and turns. Ups and downs. We usually express these with words like success and failure. Or perhaps we say things like, “Good luck” and “Bad luck.” However you express them, no one can escape life’s curve balls. But all too often we look at the “downs” or “failures” in a negative light. We even like to medicate ourselves with phrases like, “Failure is not an option.” Not only is this inaccurate, it completely devalues life’s greatest tool for learning. It should actually read, “Failure is the only option.”
If we’re not failing, then we are either not trying anything new or not trying hard enough. In either case, we’re missing out on experiences that lead to growth.
Consider how much our children are learning in comparison to us adults. Is it shocking that they are learning a lot more than we are? This isn’t because there’s nothing left to learn. And it isn’t because we’re smart. It’s not even because they are in school and we aren’t. For one reason or another, as we grow into adulthood we often leave behind our child-like instinct to venture into new territories and explore life. I often tell my sons, “I want to be like you when I grow up.” Their eyebrow goes up and they inform me, “You’re already grown up, Dad.” That’s exactly my problem.
Thomas Edison was one of the greatest innovators. Was it luck that led him to invent the light bulb? Did he view failure as not an option? I think he summed it up perfectly when he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
He viewed life through those youthful, curious eyes. And every time he failed he saw the opportunity and did something with what he learned. It was this optimistic outlook on life that I believe enabled him to produce those inventions that changed the world.
To me, part of cultivating a good life is about seeing failure for what it truly is – the opportunity to grow. And since you cannot escape failure, why not consider embracing it.
Note from Becky
I have 5 brothers, but Andrew is the only one I can call my “little brother” because he is 15 months younger than me. The rest of them are older. And boy, are we cut from the same cloth. Andrew and I share some fun similarities in creativity, organization, running our own respective businesses, and valuing family time over anything else. We both appreciate a great sunset and clean lines. I straighten the bar stools every time I walk through the kitchen. He has the most meticulous mowing lines in his yard.
Wait — back up to the part about business. This is where it gets really fun. Andrew’s company Cambio Labs has actually been an integral part of our story from the beginning. Five years ago when we launched our company, we asked Andrew to design and maintain our website so we could have a presence on the world wide web. Fast-forward to now. We just did a major overhaul on the website. Our own Kara was the designer on this round, but Andrew’s team are the guys who take care of all the coding and making sure the site functions as it should. They’re an awesome team! What a fun thing for Andrew and I to have our businesses overlap the way they do.