Welcome to blog.jlo.fail. This is my first post using the hashnode blogging platform, and surprisingly my first domain to ever own. I've been needing to switch platforms for awhile now, but just never made it a priority. My old blog was hosted by blogspot at jlorenzen.blogspot.com. I've had it since 2007! It's crazy to look back and see the number of articles I wrote (143), the things that interested me at the time (Grizzly, really?), the types of issues I was trying to solve (Groovy Sort List), and what is likely my most popular article (Maven Global Excludes).
So why a dot fail domain? Well I originally was looking for other ones like jlo.io or jlo.dev, but they were too expensive and that led to me stumbling upon the dot fail domain. I tried to find cheaper alternatives, but none resonated as strongly. After all, I frequently tell our boys "if you aren't failing, you aren't trying". For example, while helping them with their homework—usually Math (I don't do English/Literature homework)—I often catch their silly mistakes. They often wonder how I can easily spot those mistakes and I tell them it's because I've made those some mistakes thousands of times.
The world rarely celebrates failures, so why is failing so important? Well, if you are anything like me, you might have a fear of failure and this overshadows the potential benefit of stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. I say potential because you aren't guaranteed to succeed, but you are guaranteed something—the opportunity to learn. Mistakes aren't bad; not learning from a mistake is bad.
One of my favorite stories about learning from "failure" is about Thomas Edison. While I don't know the exact quote, as there is a huge controversy in the industry, I love this story about Thomas Edison while he was working on the creation of a practical light bulb or a new battery. As the story goes, a visitor to the lab, or a co-worker, or a reporter expressed sympathy to Edison regarding the failed experiments and the lack of results. Edison countered by saying something like:
I have not failed, not once. I've discovered ten thousand ways that don't work.
Experience, or mistakes, are usually the best teachers. I've found that to be true in my life and career. Now that doesn't give you free rein to go off and do stupid; you still have to be smart about it. But for the most part don't let the fear of failure hold you back.
One final suggestion that I really loved—especially as a parent. I can't recall where I came across it, but at the dinner table every night, the father went around and each person had to talk about something they failed at that day. I love that so much because it helps kids, who I think suffer the most at not wanting to fail, to overcome that tendency and exercise that "failure" muscle. I think it can also help the parents, who can tend to demand "perfect" kids, to better understand that their kids aren't perfect and that failing is ok.