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163: How to Fail – Friday Fundamentals

We spend much of our lives chasing success, however we define it. We go to great lengths to be successful, or at least appear successful. At our cores, we want food, shelter, and security for ourselves and our family. From there, success is a rabbit hole with no end. From nice cars to big houses, good jobs, and comfortable or even luxurious lifestyles, we’re constantly looking for an easier life. To many, success is living an easy life with no worries about food, money, shelter, safety, etc. But, success doesn’t come without failures. Success is found in failure. Success is found in hardship. Success is found in trials and tribulations.

We go to great lengths to avoid failure, at all costs. But, if success is what you’re searching for, then perhaps you should consider failure and learn how to fail. If you can fail correctly, then success is inevitable.

Failure is seen as something that is avoidable and should be avoided. From a young age, we are taught that failure is bad. From education to recreation, failure is not an applauded accomplishment. We think of success as much of avoiding failure as we do accomplishments. But failure can be a signal of something good, so long as you are learning from your failures. Failures are only such if you quit and do not learn from the lessons within.Failure shouldn’t be avoided, but embraced.

“Fail early and fail often, but always fail forward”. – John Maxwell

Let’s break this down and look at each of these individually.

Fail early. In other words, get started now; don’t wait.  Be willing to make mistakes early on. Don’t let the fear of failure delay you from getting started. By making mistakes and failing, you are learning. If you wait to get started until you feel like you are 100% ready and won’t make any mistakes, then you will likely never get started in the first place.

Fail often. Push yourself to your limits, then past them. If you are aren’t failing, then you aren’t trying hard enough. If the lessons are in failures, then how many failures should you aim for – 1, 10, 100, 10,000? Failing often is an indicator you are pushing yourself and constantly growing.

Fail forward. Learn from your failures. If you come out the other side from a failure in a better place, with more knowledge, experience, and lessons learned then you are failing forward. Don’t let your failures set you back. Don’t let them knock you down. Rather, look at failures as lessons, and learn from them. Use them going forward. Learn from them, implement those lessons learned and continue on your path towards success.

People make more mistakes trying to avoid failures than they would if they embraced them and learned from them. If you avoid failure so much as to never attempt anything, then that in itself is a failure. Don’t avoid failure. Rather, embrace it.

Try not to make the same mistakes twice. If you find yourself repeatedly making the same mistake, then dig to the root of it and solve it there.

Don’t let a single failure get you down. Remember, it’s only a failure if you give up and do not learn from it.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison

Map your path to success. Plan for some failures. Understand how to handle those failures, and account for them along the way. Soon enough, you’ll have failed so many times that you have no other option than success.


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