Failure can be the key to Success… if you learn from it! – Tony Robbins and here
What does that mean?
This is a case where I have shortened the tweet. The full tweet is “Failure can be the key to Success… if you learn from it! Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game… 51 misses before they hit the bulls-eye!”
Think about it. Have you ever played a game where you lost even ten times in a row and went ahead and tried the eleventh time? Can you think of anything you have tried ten times, and failed each time? Even a dry spell of ten times?
If you aren’t good at sports, you might drop ten passes, strike out ten times, or miss ten baskets. That is ten times, in a row. But how many get to fifty and still are willing to try one more time, or in this case, two more times?
If you keep doing the exact same thing, you may have a much longer streak than fifty. If, on the other hand, you try something different in each new attempt, and learn from each failure, you will have a hard time failing ten times in a row, much less fifty!
Why is learning from our failures important?
Again, for those who have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I don’t like the word failure. It has too many connotations for most people. I believe it isn’t a failure, but an undesired result, with undesired consequences. But by learning something from the experience, I define it a success.
In this manner, we can get away from the stigma attached to the word failure, and insist we learn something from the event, so that next time, we have a better chance at getting the desired result. If we don’t learn from what happened, we’re just trying things at random, and that’s usually not the best way, right?
To me, it’s even more important to learn from our successes. Most people don’t bother to examine a success. But there is much to learn when things go well. What was different this time, and what part of those changes helped the most? is just one question we could ask of a success.
Where can I apply this in my life?
While I doubt you regularly manage to achieve such lengthy streaks, there are many things in our lives which take two or three tries before we even start to get the hang of it, right? That’s why we start by crawling then walking. And when we learn to drive, it’s not straight to the expressway.
Where are you presently having difficulties achieving the results you desire? What have you tried, and what have you learned? What other combinations are left to try? What approach will you try next time? You are going to try to do it again, right?
It took me several tries before I made my first successful weld. Even now, I don’t always get it to work the way I want on the first try. Now I have a better feel for I want, and how to analyze what went wrong. Did I feed it too much wire? Too much shield gas? Too warm? There is a fix for each of these, if I look at what happened and make adjustments.
Just as important is figuring out what went right. Even if you didn’t get the exact result you were expecting or desiring, if you did better this time, ask yourself what was different? Trying to figure out what went right is an important step, and often skipped while busily looking for what went wrong.
Part of what you are trying to find out is what specific things changed, and how each might have contributed to the outcome. From there, you can better plan your next attempt. Did you go too far? Did you get more out of some action which you didn’t expect?
By spending some time figuring what went well, you can adjust you plans to make sure you do at least those things the same way, right? Or perhaps you think you need even more of something. This way, you are planning your moves, rather than simply groping around at random.
Random changes will get you different results, that’s true. But a little thought and analysis, of both what went well and what didn’t, will almost always get you there quicker. And I find quicker to be better nearly every time, would you agree?
We all have things happen which we wish had turned out better. Learn from what we did, make a plan, and try again. How many times? It depends on how badly you want to accomplish the task. Is fifty too many? It wasn’t for Rovio, would that be too many for you?