Derek Sivers
from the book “How to Live”:

Here’s how to live: Make a million mistakes.


You learn best from your mistakes.
This is true.
So you should deliberately make as many mistakes as possible.

Try absolutely everything, all the time, expecting everything to fail.
Just make sure that you capture the lessons from each experience.
And never make the same mistake twice.

You’ll be extremely experienced.
You’ll get incredibly smart.
You’ll learn more lessons in a day than others learn in a year.

Deliberate mistakes are inspiring.
Trying to write a great song is hard.
Trying to write a bad song is easy and fun.
You could do it in one minute, right now.

Writers say you should quickly finish a bad first draft, because it gets the idea out of your head and into reality, where it can then be improved.
Live your whole life this way.
Jump into action without hesitation or worry.
You’ll be faster and do more than everyone else.
What takes them a month will take you an hour, so you can do it ten times a day.

Do what everyone says not to.
Ignore every warning so you can find out for yourself.
Learn by hands-on experience.
The more mistakes you make, the faster you learn.
Once you’ve made all the mistakes in a field, you’re considered an expert.

See, you only really learn when you’re surprised — when your previous idea of something was wrong.
If you’re not surprised, it means the new information fits in with what you already know.
So try to be wrong.
Try to disprove your beliefs.
Never believe something on faith.
Prove it or disprove it.
While other people have one idea that they think might work, you will have thousands you can prove didn’t work, and one you couldn’t make fail.

Just keep a log.
A mistake only counts as experience if you learn from it.
Record what you learned, and review it.
Otherwise, it was a waste.

Take on big challenges.
Start a company in Silicon Valley.
Ask investors for millions.
Audition for Hollywood movies.
Invite your dream date to dinner.
While everyone else is nervously preparing, you jump right in, unafraid to fail.

Create predicaments.
Get into trouble.
Being desperate leads to creative solutions.

This gives you emotional stability.
No mistake will upset you.
You’ll never think that a failed attempt means you’re a failure.

The people devastated by failure are the ones who didn’t expect it.
They mistakenly think failure is who they are instead of the result of one attempt.
If you’re prepared for endless failures, you’ll never think of yourself as a failure.

There’s only one difference between a successful person and a failure.
A failure quits, which concludes the story, and earns the title.

Your growth zone is your failure zone.
Both are at the edge of your limits.
That’s where you find a suitable challenge.
Aim for what will probably fail.
If you aim for what you know you can do, you’re aiming too low.

It’s easy to make a robot that walks.
It’s hard to make a robot that can’t be knocked down.
Same with people.
People who avoid mistakes are fragile, like the robot that only walks.
Your million mistakes will make you someone that can’t be knocked down.

Mistakes are the fountain of youth.
The old and successful get fragile.
They think they know everything.
They over-invest in one solution.
They have only answers, not questions.
If you’re never wrong, you never change.
Keep making mistakes, so you can keep changing, learning, and growing.

Share your stories from all your mistakes for the benefit of the world.
Every plane crash makes the next one less likely.