I Believe in Failure..

Richard - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on March 13, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: setbacks

I believe in failure as a means to define ourselves, our companies, and our country. I don’t seek failure, in fact I hate loosing, being wrong, and generally missing the mark, but as an average student, average business person, and average human, failure is a constant companion. The trick is learning to fail intelligently.

The hardest lesson to learn is that a failure is just a single data point in time. It’s an indication that something has gone wrong and sometimes badly and expensively wrong. Unfortunately it is all wrapped up in derision, ridicule, and self loathing. Think of being fired, my own leading worst. Worse yet when you realize it was justified.

Life is series of data points, some high, some low, some loom larger than others but all pass, success as well as failure. In sports and scholastics failure is easy to identify, in fact it is labeled for you. In the real world it can be sublime yet hit you like a ton of bricks. Regardless the first step is ‘fessing up to yourself and taking responsibility. Getting it all sorted out can be much harder.

I’ve developed my own failure protocol. Indentify the failure for what it is. Take responsibility. Analyze the path to failure. Determine viable options. Take action and make the best effort to resolve it. If the failure impacts others, I try to resolve it as I would like to have it resolved for me.

So what of failing intelligently? As long as I’m alive failure in one form or another is always a potential as is success. However I’ve had more experience with day to day failures and I realize that they are momentary. But failure, like a data point offers its own source of enlightenment if one chooses to analyze it versus wallow in it. In that one decision we define ourselves, our companies and our country.