Embrace Failure and Take Action

Overcoming the fear of failure and taking on new challenges is essential. Learn how to start with low expectations and accept failure.

Starting is Always Uncertain

You probably have a fear of failure. Many people fear failure when starting a new challenge. However, what I want to tell you today is that it’s important to try even if the chances of failure are high. Because failure is just a step towards success.

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Lowering Expectations and Taking on Challenges

Elon Musk had lunch with Charlie Munger 15 years ago. Munger said Tesla would fail. Musk agreed with him. It might fail, but it was worth trying. This is not just a crazy goal but a strategy of setting low expectations and taking on challenges.

Charlie Munger emphasized lowering expectations as the key to living happily. He said that having high expectations would make you miserable for life. Accepting outcomes, whether good or bad, is important. This is not simple pessimism. Low expectations reduce the fear of failure and give you the strength to keep challenging.

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The Attitude of Accepting Failure

Musk always sets crazy goals while saying, “It probably won’t work at first.” When the rocket failed to land five years ago, he said, “I didn’t expect it to succeed this time. There will be a good chance on the next flight.” He shows an attitude of not fearing failure and constantly challenging and learning.

I don’t think all of this is reckless or arrogant risk-taking. Lowering expectations intentionally is the only way to survive in a world that is not kind to ambitious people. Remember that high risk can be rewarded with high returns, but the chance of failure is also high. Accepting failure and learning from it is important.

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The Positive Effects of Low Expectations

All luxury items become necessities over time. We currently use sunscreen, Tylenol, insulin, TV, microwave ovens, iPhones, and Google Maps as if they were obvious. If you think about the times when these things didn’t exist, life now seems magical. But we easily forget that gratitude.

Therefore, living life with low expectations is the only way to counteract human nature. Do not expect rapid economic growth, blockbuster investments, or tremendous technological innovations. Live with the mindset that it’s okay if things stay the same or even get worse.

Thinking this way makes small improvements feel amazing. Low expectations don’t lead to depression; rather, small achievements feel surprising, and bad news feels ordinary. It’s important to set your own standards instead of basing your expectations on what others have.

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The Cycle of Success and Failure

Success means trying ten things and miserably failing at eight of them but changing your life with the other two. You need to get used to many things not working out, many things failing, and constantly being disappointed. Therefore, don’t fear failure and challenge yourself.

I hope you also continue to pursue your dreams and challenges. If you keep challenging without fearing failure, your efforts will shine someday. Start right now!

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Reference: Morgan Housel, “Low Expectations”

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