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No Fear of Failure

No Fear of Failure

By Chris Maheu

11 years ago


Notes to Live By,



I have three children, with the oldest beginning his senior year in high school. Some time ago, I began writing down comments, insights and various nuggets of information to share with my oldest son. During this timeframe, the list has grown into 11 Notes to Live By, and I’ll be blogging about various items on the list. I don’t take credit for creating them all, but they all have an impact on a 17-year old building his self-esteem and understanding more about himself.

One item on the Notes to Live By list is: No Fear of Failure

During an interview with Warren Buffett, Senior Editor of the Huffington Post, Willow Bay, asked a rather simple question. She said, “You have given a lot of fabulous advice, but what’s the best advice you ever received?” Warren Buffett quickly replied, “The biggest lesson I got is the power of unconditional love, particularly from my father.”

So how does unconditional love from a parent become the best gift Warren Buffett has ever received? He goes on further to say that, “…to know you can always come back, well, that is huge and it can take you a long, long way.”

The connection between his success and unconditional love bridges a thought that he approached life with no fear of failure. No matter how big the failure is, you can always come back home. No matter how high the mountain you are attempting to climb, you can always come back home. No matter what lies in the future, you can always come back home. To me, the ability to offer this gift of unconditional love makes complete sense. This isn’t based on a scientific study or a survey with 3,000 respondents; it is based on the never-ending capacity for love between a father and his children.

Can a person simply decide to not fear failure or does this take years and years of behavioral training? I fully realize that “children do as you do, not as you say.” So the goal remains to live and practice in an environment that truly provides unconditional love. To build their self-esteem and create a world where there is no fear of failure. When my kids eagerly consider a mistake an opportunity to learn, I will have succeeded.

By the way, I am both happy and excited to inform you that the Notes to Live By list is still a part of my son’s life. On his desk today, there is a lamp, headphones, a watch, some loose coins, and some old Lego figures from his past. Under the glass that protects the wood are many items he has grown to care for and cherish. There is a note from a teacher, a number of used New Orleans Saints ticket stubs and a piece of paper titled “Some notes to live by…Love, Dad.”

Chris Maheu

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