Failure is a Launchpad

Today, Seth pointed out that good ideas are in most cases only the wheat that’s been separated from the chaff, yet more often you may end up just having the chaff but no wheat (these are the bad ideas). This is another scenario when the individual mindset determines the outcome.

Starting from scratch is hard, having something that has failed before is easy, because the first step of creating has already been taken. Now there is a substance, something to work on, analyse and measure, thus finding the (possible) weak spots and to improve on them, and enforce the strengths of the original idea (if they did not turn out to be the reason of failure — always cut the fat first). This applies not only to ideas of course, but also your products, services, systems in general.

Success can be a pitfall, because in most cases people only celebrate but never question it. The harder it is to face reality when failure occurs. But this only applies when your mindset is based on the luck factor. It is an easy explanation, because it takes away self-responsibility and maybe earns you compassion because you’re the victim of destiny. But it bears no chance of improval, because after every attempt your mind resets to zero, denying the opportunity of learning from the failure and getting an advantage in the future.

Failure should not be reduced to an equation of “[you] = dumbass”. This is a complete misinterpretation of the situation. It is the product of one or more of the following: non-clarity of objectives, prioritization, wrong assumptions (about whatever), expectations (about whatever) not being met, conditions changing during the process, to be continued… It is important to be aware that neither of these is an excuse for the result — it isn’t. But every single one is a point or stage worth examining.

Doing the uneasy job of analysing and identifying when the wheels got off the rail will give you more insight to yourself, the people involved in the (failed) transaction, and the communication between the both of you.


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