What do we usually do when we fail at something we attempt? My instinct is to judge myself and kinda punish if possible. Why is it so? Because, I believe, I was raised like this – if I fail at something I need to achieve, it’s bad, it’s no good. That’s it. I see this also as a quite common point of view around me. I want to challenge you today with my attempt to see failing in a different way – from a perspective, which is more useful, helpful and allowing to achieve more.
To achieve we often need to fail
How do we learn anything significant it our lives – we always try and fail few times. More complicated thing is, bigger it is, more times we need to fail. For example – learning to ride a bicycle (We sometime need to put our foot down, maybe even fall), driving a car (Lot’s of times we will not switch the gear correctly, release the clutch at the right time. Sometimes we event get into accident due to bad circumstances and not being careful enough), building a company (8 of 10 businesses fail. Those who build great business most often failed many times before i.e. Richard Branson – he failed in over 100 businesses. He could be one of biggest failures ever, but at the same time he is one of most successful entrepreneurs ever lived). So why do you think loosing weight or making yourself fit like Frank Medrano will happen without failing? Why do you think building a perfect house will happen straight away? Why do you think finding a publisher for your book will happen after first 10 attempts? (Jack Canfield’s book “Chicken Soup For The Soul” was rejected by 123 publishers. Guess what! After one accepted it – more than 500 million books sold + translated to more than 30 languages). I don’t say you should not succeed at first attempt, you could, and it happens, but most often it’s all about not giving up.
Something what works for other, does not work for us
We obviously can learn from others, but not always everything that did work for others will work for us (i.e. loosing weight – due to our unique physiology we could gain weight from something that other person is loosing weight). Different people have different resources, different circumstances. It’s all about taking correct sequence of actions in our unique situations we are, with circumstance we have. Most important is to trust ourselves and not to be afraid to fail. We often loose more by delaying a decisions or not taking it, than making a wrong decision. And eventually, at the end of our lives, we will only regret those decisions we didn’t make and those chances we didn’t take, not those we failed at.
Achieving big things fast sometimes requires to fail fast
Sometimes we want to achieve things fast – if so, we sometime also have to to fail fast and learn from it fast. If we try to loose weight and we grew up few more kg – yes, its a fail. But what we can do about it? Give up? F**k no! Learn from what did work and what didn’t. Then go for it again with experience and knowledge your gained. If you try to write a book and you don’t find enough time for it this month – yes, that’s a fail. Learn from it, analyse what was a blocker, what happened, why you didn’t find time. Then change it and go for it again. If you put all your heart into something your are most passionate about and someone says it a total cr*p, should we stop doing it? F**k no!
Multiple ways to get to the goal is the way to go
I was one of those people who are trying not to think about plan B, so I would not sabotage my plan A even unconsciously. I would say – “it will work” and put all the effort into plan A no way back. I recently heard a great concept – destination A, YES! That’s our goal and it should never change. But we should always have multiple ways to get to it. Multiple ways, multiple plans to reach that single destination A. If one fails, we use another, another, and again another. Until we get to our destination, to our goal. If we have just plan A, it gets less likely we will get to our main goal, our destination A.
Backup yourself in case of failure – protect what is most important
We also have to be careful enough. For example if we have a family, I believe, we should not risk wellbeing of our family in any circumstances. Good example is Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines. He bought a plane, but made a deal with Boing that if business fails, they will by the plane back from Richard for the same price. It could look like it was a great risk and it definitely could be. If business would fail, he would loose everything, but he made a deal so he can have amazing gain, but not to have a bankrupting fail in a worst case. Seeing worst case scenarios can help us to get so safe, that we could risk even more – this most often means reaching bigger goals faster. Bigger our dreams are, more we sometimes need to sacrifice. Some thing we should NOT sacrifice. Values and things people don’t want to sacrifice vary from people to people – most important one for you is yours – not mine, your friend’s or your parents’. Know your values.
Another thing not to forget – be openminded. Failure can take you exactly to your main destination
Sometime we don’t realise how some of our TOTAL fails actually brings us to our destination A. In my life I have multiple painful fails, which eventually brought me to, or helped me to get to the destination A, or even help me with various everyday circumstance. One of my exaamples: There was a very painful crash I had on my bike years ago, which few months later allowed me to pay my rent when I was doing my masters in UK by selling the video. Enjoy:
P.S. In a featured image I had camera mounted on my helmet with a long pole (so you can see me from the front). I saw a photographer near my path talking on the phone. I though he saw me, so I didn’t brake. I was going full speed until he just went into my way. Had to break hard and go to the side. But there were small wooden poles across the path. So I had to jump of my bike just before hitting my wheel into it so I would not bend the wheel. Crash was smooth and I didn’t even fall, but this experience potentially could save me from more dangerous situations in the future by giving me valuable experience and example of bad circumstances.
Another good example was me trying to find a nice new trail to ride my bicycle. Was pedaling through the woods for hours, found nothing interesting or worth riding, but took one of my favourite pictures ever:
I know all my peresonal examples shared here were related to cycling, but this is just something I am very pationate about and have related footage, so these example came out first for a post like this.