Why We Should Learn to Fail
“The difference between a successful person and a failure often lies in the fact that the successful man will profit by his mistakes and try again in a different way.” -Dale Carnegie
A few years ago, my son Alex was in a provincial midget age basketball tournament. You could really see what pouring your heart into something was all about. From the very first, they all played like their very futures depended on winning.
On one team, there was a guy that was really quite a good player. He made some terrific plays on the court, was a great sprinter and set up some others. What made this guy stand out though, was his “Losers Limp”. Every time he’d lose the ball, or miss a lay-up, or get a foul, he’d suddenly and mysteriously develop a limp as he walked across the floor. After a while, you could predict the limp even before he did it.
We’ve all seen it, and most of us have done it. When things are going good we are “in the game”! We’re excited, and everything is well with the world. Just make a bad play though, and we start to look for excuses as to why it couldn’t have been done any better than it was, and give ourselves a “limp” so that people will have pity on us and not blame us for the failure.
We have a talk or speech to give and it doesn’t go the way as planned, and we suddenly develop a cold. That big proposal that was lost was suddenly lost because the printer didn’t print well enough, we missed that meeting because we didn’t take time to read our e-mail, and all of a sudden the server magically has lost only that one important email message (funny how all of the spam mail got through though!), or what about the time you tripped and fell and started to moan and complain while people were there to watch, and when they said , “Oh you poor poor soul”, you just got up and went about your business. Some people never even get to the “limp” though, because if they thought they could fail, they do everything they could to avoid the situation, or they would up with some lame excuse as to why they shouldn’t even attempt it in the first place.
Whatever the situation, we all like to look good, and no one likes to fail. Our pride is very much an important part of us that we can’t deny. What I’m saying here, is that failure is a necessary and very important part of our development, and without it, new possibilities, learning or opportunities would never happen.
If we’ve been protected all of our lives, either by our parents, boss or even ourselves, then we always do things the same way each and every day, and we never progress in our careers or lives. Some of the greatest discoveries of our time have been achieved as a result of a failure or a series of failures.&n