Failure as a tool

‘I haven’t failed, I just found 10,000 ways it didn’t work’ – Thomas Edison

Our societal definition of failure is quite often associated with the lack of positive outcome or the deviation from our perceived state of success. Not forgetting the other stigmas and negative connotations associated with the word failure that we impose on ourselves and the social implications of being a failure.

Overall, we don’t like failing as it is a state that the human mind protects itself from as it is perceived as demotivating and requires rationalizing to move oneself away from this state. If this were the case and the attitude, a lot of famous inventions and innovations would never occur due to this fear.

‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts’
– Winston Churchill

‘Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up’ – Old Chinese Proverb

These quotes above represent a share of sentiment that has been drummed into us from a young age, the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” type description of failure. Surely, it is motivating to have an undying attitude towards your final goal and it makes a great speech for motivating others.

Changing Perception

But, how do we sustain this motivation towards our final goal?

Simply, you turn this negative perception of failure into a positive one.

Failure, should be treated in a positive light, it is the opportunity to learn, recalibrate and regroup. An opportunity for any venture to reach it desired goal through a series of recalibration phases for success.

Affordable Losses

Whatever your final destination or measure of success maybe, it is always composed of a series of situations and scenarios. Therefore, it requires a little bit of reflection and evaluation at each of these steps. As such, before such recalibration phases you must be accepting of the fact, that you may encounter losses, and these you have factored as an affordable loss. In other words, a much smaller risk compared to losing everything.

Failure as a Tool

Hence, it could be perceived as a controlled journey of recalibrations and learnings to ensure that the desired outcome is reached through affordable losses, rather than a ‘all or nothing’ approach and a surprise at the end!




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