In Beyond the Summit Todd Skinner states, “To cross difficult terrain, you often have to make the wrong choice to discover the right choice. So it isn’t the fall that’s important, it’s what you do after the fall.” Many people I have come across equate falling to failing. The fear of messing up or not making correct moves inhibits movement forward towards a goal or limits creativity.
I heard a phrase a while ago that has become a mantra for me: “Fail Fast”. In addition, learn quick. In my mind there is no failing, there is only learning. If you are trying a new thing in unchartered territories for yourself, the fastest way to get to a goal is to make mistakes, collect valuable lessons learned and move on. You are not failing, you are learning in this process. Since you don’t know what is upcoming or have ever experienced it, you have to gather information. And when you commit, commit fully. Because as Todd Skinner says, “because the correct answer applied tentatively could fail, giving you wrong data on the right sequence.”
For some, this may take some rewiring, but I believe this concept offers your refinement towards excellence and winning. Look at the behaviors of successful people around you. Their attitude towards the new, the unknown, is one of learning and failing forward. This is pivotal, lest we stop growing and stop learning. The goal is not to fall or fail, but to find answers so we can succeed.
One thought on “Fail Fast!”
An entrepreneur I once worked for said “if you haven’t had at least one failure in a day, then you haven’t had a good day.” He was easily the wealthiest man I’ve ever known and perhaps among the wisest. Agree with you whole-heartedly. It’s not failure that causes a man to lose ground, it’s how he deals with that failure. Paulo Coelho said, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”