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Don't Be Afraid Of Failure

I was fortunate enough to see a presentation by NASA Administrator Charles Frank Bolden Jr. today. In addition to a brief outline of what NASA does, he had some very inspiring words.

His words of wisdom for aspiring students were: study hard; work hard; and don't be afraid of failure. The first is obvious. The second is about doing everything well. The third is probably key. Bolden was goaded into applying to join the astronaut program. His excuse for not applying was that he thought he wouldn't get in. His "goader" (sorry, I've forgotten the name), told him that was the dumbest thing he'd ever heard. How would you know? And so Bolden applied and ended up flying four space shuttle missions and being appointed by Obama as the boss of NASA.

So don't worry about failure, about missing out. Just go for it. I'll be telling my kids this story often.