The worst is no outcome

William Liao
May 22, 2023

Failure or rejection isn’t the worst.

The worst is no outcome — no win, no failure — because you didn’t try.

This Teddy Roosevelt gives chills down my spine: “if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Failure is often positioned like some irredeemable and terrifying life event, so we avoid it.

But it’s just life.

It’s what sometimes happens when we try interesting things.

Or, in Roosavelt’s more grandiose words: it’s what happens when we dare greatly.

The risk of failure is hardly justification for not attempting difficult feats in life.

Failure is par for any worthwhile course, and it’s where you are likely to gain some of life’s most valuable lessons.

Embrace it and try.



William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (