The first thing that comes to mind when I think about failure is the old Michael Jordan advertisement.
The final line gets me every time. ‘And that is why, I succeed’.
How could it possibly be a good thing to fail often? Because that’s how we learn to improve. And the faster we fail, the quicker we learn to succeed, doing things the right way, avoiding the mistakes of our past.
To me, University became the perfect time for me to fail fast, and fail often, and I encourage all students especially to think about how they could be spending their time, working towards failure, so that they learn, grow and succeed in the future.
Failure is not intentional, it is not something you set out to ‘achieve’, but the sooner you start trying new things, challenging yourself to grow into the person you envision, overcoming the setbacks that come with growth and overcoming adversity and obstacles, the better placed you will be in life to achieve your goals and dreams.
When I first starting working towards the life I wanted to live, I didn’t realise I was failing fast, failing often, but I was.
I started a blog, I started writing a novel, I held an event, I applied for jobs out of my league, and I did them all poorly – to begin with. Then I got a little better, then a little better and then, you won’t believe this, but then I got even better.
Keeping the basketball theme of this post going, I like to think about failing, like training in basketball (or any sport); miss your shots in practice so when it comes to the big game, you are ready to knock them down. Learn your strengths and weaknesses in training (university), so you know how to avoid your weaknesses and play to your strengths before you graduate and hit the big leagues.
Mark Cuban sums it up well below.
“The point of all this is that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and either should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because…All that matters in business is that you get it right once.
“Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”