How to Fail Without Failing
The difference between 'fail' and 'failing' is the extent of negative impact one failure has on future events. Every great accomplishment stands on the shoulders of a hundred failed attempts. Here are three ways to make every fail a winner.
1. Feel the burn. (Love the burn.)
No matter what degree of failure you experience, revel in it. Embrace the burning disappointment with open arms and appreciate it for what it is – a teacher. The more intimately you experience this ether, the quicker you’ll be able to identify it in the future. Those who refuse the burn now will feel the exact burn later.
2. Only fail the same way once.
Fail as many times as you want in different ways. Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”. That’s 10,000 different ways. An innovative design requires one new iteration after another. A new solution requires one improved attempt after another.
Quitting can be just as decisive and valuable as another attempt. Ask yourself: Does this bring me more clarity or more confusion? Can my time be better spent elsewhere? Moving on from something that is directly destructive or keeps you from more fulfilling work can be one of truest markers of success. After all, one who succeeds at making himself miserable has still failed.
A wise man once admitted “I’m headed in the wrong direction.”
And then he changed direction.