Is that a double negative?
When I got one of these “Big Wheels” in 1985, I wasn’t worried about failing. The other kids were riding them, and I wanted to catch up. There wasn’t really a choice. I could borrow theirs and take turns - and you couldn’t really “fall” either way… but - my goal was to get on that bike and hurl myself down a steep hill and slam on the breaks and spin out. I was successful. That felt good.
There didn’t seem to be any conscious ideas of ‘success’ or ‘failure.’ It was simple. Whatever thing it was… it looked really fun - and I wanted to do it - and I did anything that it took to get involved. After trying enough things, I could conclude that–while some things were very challenging–If I tried hard enough, I could do it.
Games like hide and seek were (and still are) very exciting! Am I going to find them? Are they going to find me? Will one of us sneak up and scare the other! That anticipation triggers a Dopamine release. It’s not as physically difficult as learning a backflip on a trampoline or climbing a tall tree - but it has its own learning curve. “Playing” well with people is its own challenge.
When you want to do something - nothing can stop you… sorta…
Growing up, I had a best-friend next-door neighbor, Andrew. For Christmas one year, I got a pair of these Rollerblades. He didn’t. So, we took turns. That worked out pretty well. But - we wanted to use them at the same time. So, we started just wearing one. For months and months - we scooted all around town wearing one shoe and one rollerblade. We got great at relying on either right OR left foot and it was very fun. Nothing can stop you - if you harness that magic feeling you get when you are inspired by possibility. That’s the Dopamine! It’s that magic energy. The reward is great / but the anticipation of reward is what propels us to try NEW things. The possibilities can be empowering - if we aren’t already flooded with Dopamine. (Andrew’s mom couldn’t ignore how much we enjoyed these things so, of course, she ended up buying him a pair)
If you try to succeed - instead of ‘trying not to fail’ - the world is a completely different place. If Andrew had just sat there–waiting for someone to buy him rollerblades–our entire reality would have been different (and much less fun).
What modes of transportation did you use to get to your adventures, as a child?
I’d love to get you involved in the conversation.