In 1959 a British industrialist named Henry Kremer offered a prize of 100,000 pounds for the first human-powered plane to fly from England to France.

Paul MacCready, who owned a one-man plane shop, decided to accept the challenge. He had none of the perks that the larger plane companies he was competing against had, so he knew he had to do things differently.

While his competitors were throwing a lot of money at building classy-looking, expensive planes, MacCready put together something very basic. So basic that people called it ugly.  But that suited MacCready well, for his plan was to let his plane crash repeatedly until he understood all there was to learn about how it worked. Not having any concern for what the plane looked like, every time it crashed, he duck-taped every bashed-up iteration and threw it into the air again. As a result, he had hundreds of test flights before his competitors had even one. It was no surprise that Paul MacCready made world history and won the prize.

Are you trying to do something that feels impossible? Lose some weight? Find an awesome job? Or partner? Then here’s the thing: you’ve got to factor in a large number of mistrials right from the start. That way you won’t get discouraged. Here’s a way to make that easier.

Take a blank piece of paper and draw 50 circles on it. Put your goal at the top: Losing 30 pounds. My new job. Publishing my book. Every time you take an action that misses the mark, tweak whatever needs tweaking and throw that plane into the air again. That’s how success happens. You first learned it when you took on figuring out how to walk when you were a child. And you used it over and over again, at least until your fear of failure took over. But once you build in a method for having a bunch of failed attempts, you will find it easier.

Give it a try.