Thursday, May 7, 2015

Failure viewed differently

Were you taught that failure is a bad thing? I was, too. I'm not even sure by whom—but I know I learned to view it as a negative.

The dictionary says failure is "the condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends."

But isn't that how we learn? We try something. It doesn't pan out quite as we'd planned. We try it again, but this time with some changes or tweaks. Perhaps it doesn't work this time either. We continue trying with small changes. Then, voila, it works.

So, really, is "failure" a bad thing? I think it just might get a bad rap that it doesn't deserve. Perhaps we shouldn't even call it failure. It's more of an experiment, whether it's our life or it's some object we're creating.

It was Thomas Edison who said as he worked on developing the light bulb, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." He also said, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" and "Negative results are just what I want. They're just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don't."

Hmmm, that puts a different perspective on failure, success, giving up, and trying again and again, doesn't it? Really, haven't you learned more from those failed attempts than you ever have from any successes? So let's celebrate curiosity and perseverance. Let's try, try, try again—and see how much we can learn in the process!

1 comment:

  1. That is such a fabulous insight! What a liberating idea to think of such attempts as simply evidence of one thing that DOESN'T work! Then, try again. I love it!!