• Cord Harper

"If at first you don't succeed, try skydiving."

My father was a professional speaker and a magazine editor. He taught me a lot about story telling, writing and communicating with an audience. I remember when I was about 12 years old he shared with me a new tag line ending he planned to use for his speeches.

"If at first you don't succeed, try skydiving."

At 12 I was a little lost on the meaning. He explained it further. What I remember from our conversation was that most people fail because they just halfheartedly prepare for things because the consequences of failure aren't dire. With something like skydiving you have to get it right. You will put more effort and attention in it because you can't afford to fail.

Honestly, there's not a lot of complexity in skydiving. The parachute is not difficult to operate or assemble. Gravity does most of the work. At 19 I graduated from Army Airborne school at Ft. Benning. Five jumps and some silver wings helped me grow in confidence.

The biggest deterrent to success, though, is fear. Very few people ever overcome their fears enough to try. Even when the odds of success are 99.999%. Do some preparation to get it right, but don't overthink it. Then, do it. Make the jump.

"If at first you don't succeed, try skydiving."

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