“Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.”
– John C Maxwell
How to handle failure is one tool you won’t know you have a need for until you start adulting especially if you were an A/A+ student in school. You’ve never really had to worry about failing because you’re even the one the C-students come to and it always look like you have everything all figured out, hence, no need for contingency plans for failure. Well, until after school and you step into the real world where you discover the difference between “Failing Often” to “Failing Fast and Forward“. One of the few things you need to know about failure is, “If you’re consistently failing at the same thing, you’re not growing”. The point of failing is to learn from your errors rather than expend a lot of effort trying to defend them and cover them up because, the crux of failing fast and failing forward is to become better because of your mistakes, not in spite of them.
Another thing to note is that it’s not always your fault when things go wrong. But it becomes your fault when you give up and sit and wallow in self pity or blames. You might not be responsible for your failures, but you should definitely take responsibility for your success. Master the art of turning your failure into knowledge and knowledge into success.
One of my all time favorite books on Managing Failure is “Failing Forward” by John C. Maxwell and he shared an interesting story from another classic book, Art & Fear by Ted Orland about how a teacher of a ceramics class divides her students into two groups. She told the first group they’d be graded based on how many pieces they created over the course of the class. The second group was supposed to make just one piece of pottery, but make that the best they can.
You’d think that the second group should produce better work, but no, the first group did better when it came to quality of their creations. Why? Two reasons:
Making multiple pieces took the pressure off every single one. Failing wasn’t so bad after-all, going through multiple stages of failure allowed them to learn from each one and improved their next piece.
Now, relating this to real life issues, this is how failure leads to success. You can only address the faults and roots of the failures when you allow yourself make more. When you’re determined to understand your failures. And then improve on it each time you try again. The idea is to fail forward not stagnant or backward.
To Be Continued. . .