02 May 2009

Fail, Fail Again.

Failure is not a bad thing. It's got a bad rap over the years. But if you look at failure from a different perspective, you'll see the power failure brings. President Barack Obama has a great quote about failure "Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. it's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere."

Use failure as a vehicle to perform better, to push yourself further or harder, or to overcome what was previous thought insurmountable. Edison failed thousands of time trying to perfect the light bulb. James Dyson failed thousands of times creating the Dyson vacuum. One of my favorites is Richard Branson (Virgin, Virgin Atlantic, etc.) He does not fear failure. When he fails, he uses what he has learned and applies it to his next venture.

Failure can be painful. But do not look at it like failure, instead look at it as a positive learning experience and motivation. That being said, you must handle failure intelligently. A fly banging against a glass window, failing to get through, banging again over and over until it dies is not a smart way to deal with failure. Look at the failure and learn from it. That is the key. Granted a fly does not have much mental facilities, but let's say we're the fly. Bang! We hit the window. We look at it, maybe try again. OK, we can't get through, let's look for an alternative - an open window or waiting for someone to open the door or window.

If you let failure lead you down the pity road; "I'll never do it", "I can't do it", "It's to hard", "I'm not good enough", then that is exactly what it will be. Surprisingly, your brain actually listens to you. Don't fall into that trap. Tell yourself "OK, what did I learn", "What worked and didn't", "What can I change", "Let me look at this from another perspective".

Then you are on the road to success. If success was so easy, everyone would be doing it. If something requires hard work and dedication, it's more meaningful and worth it. Someone once told me, "Do not let your failures define you". True, but add "Let the failures define you successes".

1 comment:

WoodEngineer said...

Failure is the seed of success!!

It's always hard when you do fail at something but as long as you learn you're better off than you were before.