Failure

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 “If you’re not failing, you’re not learning.”
 “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.”

 I’ve heard both of those quotes a lot recently and after reading this from Om Malik, I started thinking…am I failing?  

The answer is a resounding yes.  Without going into too much detail for my self-confidence’s sake (not that it matters), I make decisions every day in and sometimes those decisions are based in hard fact (which may be based on errant data) or on subjective nature (most certainly based on emotion, external pressures, lack of thought, etc).

As an aside, I’m a firm believer that everything I’ve done could have been done better by someone else.  I characterize that someone as an individual with more experience than I who at one point was in my shoes and either did things right the first time 100% perfectly (scoff scoff) or made the same mistakes I did and has since learned from those mistakes.

Then I asked myself…am I trying to fail?

The answer is a solid no.  Who wants to fail?  I’m doing what I do with the full intention of being successful and thinking that the outcome is 100% worth it.  Why would I go down a path towards failure?

But, I still fail.  No doubt.

Is it worth it?  Am I learning?

This one’s hard.  If you’re failing and you’re stopping to think about why you did, how it resulted in failure and how you could’ve prevented it so that you don’t repeat the same behavior and mistakes in the future, then you’re really learning.  But often times, when I’m so focused on getting the job done or moving forward in the many directions I’m headed in at one time, I forget to take the time and ponder how things are going, where I am failing and where I can improve.

That’s the key.  I think I’m learning.  But I’m not sure.  The lesson for me in thinking about failures is that I need to spend more time learning from how I’m failing rather than focusing on the failures themselves.

Take this another way – don’t beat yourself up on the failures in your life.  Get up, learn from them and become stronger as a result.

Hmmm, I swear I heard that growing up a few decades ago…

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