Motivational Monday #109 Failing Intelligently
We need to teach the highly educated person that it is not a disgrace to fail and that they must analyze every failure to find its cause. They must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts in the world.
Charles F. Kettering
I guess when you come down to it life is very straight forward and full of simple choices – do I say ‘yes’ or ‘no’; do I go talk to that person or not, do I exercise or not? And interestingly I think a lot of the time the range of choices we have to select from is fairly small. Very often two – to do something or not to do something.
Why when do we have so many difficulties making choices and especially choices that take us into new areas? I think the answer is simple, a friend of mine put it plainly the other day:
“Fear only stops you doing things”
Consider that for a second. When you have reluctance or apprehension (both lesser forms of fear), have those feelings ever encouraged you to try something new? I suspect not. Fear of the unknown seems to be something that is hardwired into our DNA. I suppose hundreds of thousands of years ago when our ancestors were finding their feet, wandering off into unknown dark new places wasn’t the smartest of plans.
It’s time to rise about that inherent reluctance. It’s time to be more open to choices that take us to new places and to experience new things.
So let’s consider this point in more detail, what is it that we are afraid or anxious about? Very often it’s that vaguest, and yet perhaps the most pervasive fear, fear of failure. It comes up all the time. It’s lurking in the shadows behind so many of the ‘no’ decisions we make because we are too afraid to say ‘yes’ and then ‘fail’.
So what can we do to shake this one off? Well there is a way forward highlighted by Charles Kettering in his quote – “learn how to fail intelligently” –to do this the first thing you have to do is fail at something. So actually in itself that quote is urging you on. Try new things, fail at them… and then consider what happened?what you can learn from that experience to take you forward? Because that’s what failing intelligently is all about.
It’s about moving forward, developing yourself and your life through the experience of failing at things. Allowing the opportunity to fail better and more intelligently, repeatedly until you reach a level of competence that is then considered success!
If failure is an art, as Kettering puts it, then like any art it will take time to master and each one of us, if we put the effort in, will be able to master the art in our own unique way.
Your style and method of failure will be unique to you and so will your successes when you learn to fail intelligently!
So maybe today is the day to say yes to some of those new things; a day to go out and intelligently fail!
Until next time; be successful!