At dinner with a friend the other night, we discussed some of the traits we were grateful to have acquired from our parents. Both of us had dads that took risks, dads that worked at the edge of their experience and skill, dads that harvested some spectacular failures along the way as they grew into larger versions of themselves.

edge mapAs kids, we both saw that our dads had courage. That getting it wrong was part of having passion, that the ups and downs of the learning process were to be embraced. We had dads that were comfortable with “not knowing” and so we learned to be comfortable with ours as well. Probably, that is one of the reasons we both share a taste for travel and pushing ourselves beyond the borders mapped by daily routines and convention.

Has this gotten us into hot water?
Yes, just like our dads, at times it has. And it also has opened up opportunities that would otherwise be locked behind a wall of fear, regret and ignorance.

Just as our immune systems grow stronger when they fail to recognize an invader and have to battle and learn, so too our spirits grow more resilient when failure gives us the opportunity to hone our perceptions and responses.

Failure was never the lesson.
The lesson was in how we picked ourselves up after things went wrong and then approached our dreams with more information and renewed curiosity. Our dads demonstrated courage in their willingness to risk living a more interesting life. We consider ourselves lucky to have had fathers that showed us how to navigate the territory just beyond the edge of the known world.

What about you?
From where you do draw inspiration to push the borders of what is possible in life?