“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I used to love making mistakes.

At the age of six, I refused to have training wheels on my first bicycle. At the age of ten, I attempted to bake a cake sans adult supervision. At the age of thirteen, I proposed to the popular sixteen-year old girl at school. A skinned knee, burnt palms and a bruised ego later, I kept going.

And then I stopped. Somewhere along the way, it became more important to be right than to learn. Professionally, I hid behind safety nets – analyst programs, test scores and business school. Personally, I refused to let people in for fear of being hurt. I thought succeeding simply meant failing less often. My ambition was just fear wearing a nice suit.

That ends here. I will make mistakes again. I am sure I will fail. But I will value the failures as much as I value the successes. Because failure means having the confidence to know you can bounce back. Failure means having the courage to be vulnerable. Failure means, if nothing else, you always have a good story.

— Ninad Kulkarni