Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

What my 10 month old godson reminds me about success

April 16, 2018

My dear godson, Noah is learning how to walk.  And so far, he’s pretty crap at it.

He falls and falls and falls.  But he keeps trying and becomes more proficient every day.  He doesn’t think to himself “Darn, this walking is tough and is taking a long time. Every time I try, I fall down. And sometimes that hurts.  I’ll never make it.  I am doomed to a life of crawling.  I’m going to give up before it gets embarrassing.”

Heck no.  Not this baby.  Not any baby.

He smiles with glee at even the smallest success.  He learns a little more every time.  And he works hard at it every day.  Of course, he cries if he gets hurt but not for long.  Just an acknowledgement of a small setback, and then he’s at it again.

And everyone around him goes crazy with joy at each attempt.  His smile is contagious and draws us all in.  We clap and cheer him on. No one would ever say “What a stupid baby. He’s been trying for weeks and still doesn’t get it.  That kid should give up his dreams, he’ll never amount to anything.”  Quite the opposite, we celebrate everything: learning to flip over, to sit, to crawl, to make sounds, to eat.  And soon we’ll celebrate walking and then running.  We know he will win.

Noah intuitively know to keep trying and he will eventually be successful.

  • He learns fast and often.  He hones his skills every day
  • He doesn’t consider long term failure an option
  • He finds joy in his successes not matter how small
  • He surrounds himself with positive and supportive people

As adults we often stop trying and learning far before we should.  We let setbacks stop us.  We see personal or professional failure as failure, not as an opportunity to learn and grow. We lose our smiles and joy.

It might sound odd to say that a ten month old baby can be a mentor.  But its true.  My godson is teaching me to live my own life with his refreshing perspective.  Thanks Noah!



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