November 24, 2015

Is Failure Good?

Here is a refreshing take on failure, from an article by James Altucher. I like his approach, it appears unconventional at first but makes perfect sense by the end.

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Failure is the worst possible thing. There is nothing good about it, and there's nothing you can pretend to learn from it. However, failure has many cousins - better things to learn from:
  1. Curiosity. When Something happens and you don't understand why, ask questions. Keep asking until you find answers.
  2. Experiment. It is normal in a lab to experiment with many materials before coming up with the right one. Didn't work? Change something and try a new experiment.
  3. Persistence. The best way to get better (and more well-known) is to simply do it again.
  4. Forgiveness. "Failure" is a word used to label a past event. When you label a past event as a failure, it prevents you from moving beyond the past. Learn to forgive, and move back to the present.
  5. Study. A good student doesn't call it a failure when he gets a question wrong on a test. It's just a wrong answer. Understand and study and remember the correct answers.
  6. Hard Problems. The key to success is to solve hard problems. Failure is not a hard problem - it is a label. Failure is in the past, hard problems can be solved now.
  7. Don't Care. When you fail, are you truly just worried that others will think you a failure? Don't worry about what others think. Don't care. Good things will happen.