Within almost all success there is an element that no one speaks about. It is something that is in complete contradiction with the culturally accepted idea of succeeding. However, it is so fundamental and important to being successful that without it you are almost doomed to never achieve anything you set out to. What is that idea I hear you cry? It is failure. Yes, to achieve that thing you most want you need to fail. You need to fail a lot and fast. It is only through knowing what doesn’t work in both your actions and your approach that you can make the amendments to take you forward on your path.
How success is represented
In our society we are taught that a successful outcome is all we value. Do you have lots of money? Have you achieved that high grade? How big is your house? This is what culturally we use as symbols of success. There is little to no emphasis placed on the journey. When in fact the path you take is basically the only thing that matters because without it you are going to get nowhere, ever.
Trial and error is king
So if we were to examine the journey that leads to success what is it along the way that helps us move forward? Is it discipline, energy or vision? Well, all these things are important. However, what research tells us is that trial and error is the fastest and most effective way to get to where you want to be. This requires one thing more than anything else and that is you must fail. Without failing at things you have no opportunities to learn.
Failing really helps you more than you know
We have been taught that failure is a bad thing. To some people it is such an emotionally charged issue that they avoid it at all costs. The reality is the fastest way and by far the most effective way to get where you want to be is to fail, do it a lot and fast. The important thing is to learn, learn, learn. When something doesn’t go your way you have to take the lessons on and go again.
One of the biggest successes you can point to in terms of embracing failure is Google’s project X division. They actively reward failure. You get bonuses based on how much you have failed. They seek it out and are enthusiastic about learning from it. Google’s self driving car was born out of this culture as was its new project to provide internet to millions of in accessible places around the world using balloons. They embrace failure in order to create innovative and new products. It is through this process of failing and learning that they can develop their products faster and more effectively.
Failure is the best source of learning
When something goes wrong it provides such a great opportunity to learn. You can pick apart what happened and make amendments for the future. This means the faster you fail, the faster you will learn. This process will eventually get you closer to where you want to be.
Failure is not,as many people believe, a reflection on you as a human being. You are just as capable, talented and valuable as you were before you “failed”. You now have the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience. So go out there and fail as fast as you possibly can.