As children, we learn what to do and not do through parental approval, and unless we grew up with a a parent aware of the subtle value of mistakes, most of us might not know how to be bad, and therefore good at something. It is virtually impossible to become good at something without first being bad at it.

My intuition is that grit, hustle, persistence, are qualities rooted in our ability to override the primal instinct to want to be accepted, validated, and a good child. Overriding it with a new kind of ability of being embarrassingly bad, asking dumb questions, seeming unintelligent, until—little by little, step by step, bird by bird—it all starts to come together.