The skateboarding toddler ... and us

Have you ever seen a 22-month-old child skateboarding?

What I love most about this video is how comfortable the boy is with messing up.

He’s not looking around to see if anyone’s watching him. He’s not criticizing himself for failing to stand on the board exactly right. He’s just trying, taking some spills, and then trying again.

It’s almost as if the boy, and young children in general, have a natural sense of what it takes to succeed in life. They seem to know implicitly that long-range success requires a comfort with trial and error, with the occasional falls.

Ironically, many of us as “grownups” have actually lost this uninhibited drive to grow. We’ve hidden it under a fear of failure, of trying new and challenging activities, of looking ridiculous in front of others, etc., etc.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get back what we once had.

Actually, as adults, we can experience that child-like comfort with messing up in a much more profound way. For now when we push ourselves to try something new – with the full knowledge that there will be both ups and downs, trials and errors – we are *consciously choosing* to take the risk. And given it can be very hard to rise above learned fears, making that choice is a real accomplishment which can bring with it a uniquely “grownup” pride.


If you're interested in better understanding where some of our emotions originate, this is a worthwhile piece. Also, last month published a related article of mine, called Our Falls & Triumphs, which you might enjoy.

Cheers to our successes,

Jesse McCarthy, jemslife


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