What do you learn from a failure?

The Only Failure is Not Trying

Oh no.. Not again.. I don't want another wisdom on this subject.

This is the same feeling I had when someone asked me this question. I am sure many of you must have read numerous books, famous quotes and articles on this subject. However I could not answer the question (in the subject line) without giving a thought about it. Here is what I think what happens when you fail and what do you exactly learn from it irrespective of the goal you are trying to achieve.

Let's first take a look at an analogy of what does a child learn when they fall while learning to crawl or walk. They learn about the physical world rules and their own capabilities. Let me explain little more. A child learns about the gravitational pull, frictional laws, laws of motion etc. without even knowing maths and principles written by humans. They learn how much they can make use of their legs, joints and hands to balance, move and control. The goal is achieved in few attempts, but they master it once they keep practicing.

Now the thing you are trying to do might be new to you. If there is no time-limit set for achieving what you are trying to do, then learn like a child. See the unseen, listen the untold and then set foot on ground. Don’t get frustrated because of some stupid failure. However, if there is time-limit to achieve your goal, then you need a teacher/guru/god-father in the process. Who can help in fast-forwarding your learning and hit the goal with least failures.

Now what you tend to learn from the failure:

The rules of the game.

  1. Your capabilities and making use of them.

  2. How to control the parameters responsible for the failure or success.

  3. In each failed attempt, you tend to learn about the parameters influencing the act.

I can write a book on this subject, but LinkedIn is not a place to say things in length. Let me close this thought with a tip.

While you are either trying to do something which is already been done by someone else, or you are trying to do something which no-one else has done before. Always keep two things in your mind.

  1. “If someone has done a great thing before, the same thing can always be achieved by you as well”. - this is similar to quote etched on my mind when I watched this movie "The Edge" many years ago.

  2. “If no-one else has achieved something which you are trying to do, then work hard and show them how it can be done”