Today, we’d like to think about failure for a moment. Not the kind where you post an inspirational quote on social media and move on, but the deep seering painful kind, like when you can’t get out of an escape room in time. Or like when you’re this close to figuring out the clue when someone else gets it first. That kind of failure.

Some kinds of failure can be helpful, cathartic. At the very least, they don’t have to be the end. If you failed after truly trying, you can be proud of the effort.

You may have noticed by now, but there are lots of inspirational quotes about trying, not giving up, working for today, yada yada. Pretty quotes aside, there is some truth to that idea. Perhaps the point should be trying more than succeeding. Not in every instance, we realize, but in many of them.

How many times do you approach a project with the EFFORT in mind rather than the GOAL? Probably not many. But the trying is essential: how you approach the task matters.

Do you have a plan before stepping in? Perhaps you have a calendar, a list of mini-goals, smiley face stickers for each small milestone. If that’s how you do you, perfect. Or perhaps you don’t much of a plan at all. Maybe you know the first step and then will figure out the second step once you need to. In that case too, perfect.

What matters, no matter what route you take, is that you try to the best of your ability and in a way that suits you. Think, plan, dream, act, TRY in the way that makes the most sense. Forcing someone else’s construct of “this is how you solve a problem” probably won’t work.

Consider Einstein’s now-famous saying: after many failures, he now knows 10,000 ways not to solve the problem. (Would you keep trying that many times? Kudos to him because I definitely would have given up. Regardless …) That spirit is the spirit of this blog: keep the goal in mind but don’t lose focus of the trying. You may learn more lessons and have more fun in the trying portion than in the getting-to-goal portion. Who knows.

And whatever you’re doing this weekend, escape room or not, we hope you #crushit.