Fail It Until You Nail It

Snowboarding may just be the greatest sport ever invented. Strap a board under your feet, point one end downhill, and let gravity suck you to the bottom of the mountain at the speed of light. Plus, if you have an all mountain snowboard, you can use it on any type of trail!

As if that wasn’t fun enough, somewhere along the line somebody decided it might be a hoot to use gigantic cliffs as launching pads for several seconds of unaided human flight.

And then came the half-pipe — an enormous man-made trough that allows snowboarders to propel themselves — multiple times in a row — up to 20 feet in the air for the sole purpose of performing death-defying aerial acrobatics.

Forget the rebel punk reputation that has followed snowboarders ever since Jake Burton shredded into the middle of mainstream skiing 25+ years ago. Snowboarders can do amazing — A-MAZE-ING — things with their boards and their bodies.

But how? How do they learn how to fly like that?

The secret lies in this video that features Shawn White, the undisputed current king of the hill.

Watch it now, then read on.

The video shows how Shawn mastered the “Front Double Cork 1080” in one day. That’s basically a forward twisting double corkscrew flip that occurs between the time you leave the ground and the time you return 1.5 seconds later.

Toward the end of the video, he says “Just today we’ve probably gotten a couple years of riding in one day.” That’s a lot of runs, flips, twists, and misses.

Snowboarders try. They try a lot. They try until they nail it. That’s the secret.

They also fall down. They fall down a lot. They fall down until they nail it.

That’s also called failing. In other words, they fail. They fail a lot. They fail it until they nail it.

Shawn White has a top secret, million dollar training area that his sponsor, Red Bull, built, complete with a nice, cushy foam pit for him to fail into. But don’t let that fool you. He experimented with countless other tricks for years before they paid him to put a Red Bull sticker on his snowboard. Before that, his landing pad was just the packed, icy snow that lines the half-pipe. Painful and unforgiving for sure.

These guys are not fearless, stupid, or crazy. Ok, maybe some of them are, but the really, really good ones are relatively sane, yet insanely relentless in their pursuit of mastering new tricks.

When was the last time you relentlessly pursued something, falling down over and over until you mastered it? Do you ever fail it until you nail it?

We’re human, so we tend to take the path of least resistance. We don’t like to fail. We like shortcuts. We crave immediate gratification. Which is why we don’t achieve more amazing things in our lives, careers, and businesses.

Oh, there is another secret to apply as well. You have to want it badly (it being whatever you’re trying to master). Snowboarders master increasingly difficult tricks because they love the sport and they can’t wait to see just how far they can push it.

If you’ve ever watched a group of snowboarding buddies riding together, it can seem like a brutal social dynamic. They ruthlessly make fun of each other’s horrible crashes. But if you notice, they don’t seem to care. They get right back up and try again. And when they do nail it, it’s high-fives all the way around. Man, do I wish the business world was more like that.

Maybe it will be when you and I learn how to fail it until we nail it more often.

So, what are you going to try again today? Let us know by commenting on our blog. Your comments inspire our readers all over the world, so don’t hold back!


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