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What You Want: To realize a dream or a passion project.

What to Try: Failing forward.

The problem with trying something new (like: photography) is that we approach it, hoping for instant success. Instead, write Ryan Babineaux PhD and John Krumboltz PhD in their new book, Fail Fast, Fail Often it helps us to bomb out over and over, each time using the experience to "fail forward." The co-creators of Stanford University's continuing studies course of the same name outline a specific process:

1. Find something that you'd like to try but haven't because you're afraid of splatting on your face. (Example: "I want take pictures for a living.")

2. Find a way to fail at it as quickly as possible. (For example, "I'm going to take pictures at my cousin's wedding next week.")

3. Do it and tell people you're new to this. (For example, "While I'm snapping away, I'll tell everybody I'm a beginner and ask what people think about the shots").

4. Go home and analyze ("What came naturally, and what do I need to work on? What was fun—and what wasn't?")

5. Set another challenge and fail again ("Next time, I'll take pictures at a wedding and get paid for it"). By the shifting your focus to learning something as a beginner (instead of, say, producing something amazing), write the authors, you will perform better, enjoy yourself more, find ways to learn from your stumbles—all of which leads you to succeed much more quickly.


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