Delighting in Failure
© 15 Nov 2011 Luther Tychonievich
Licensed under Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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To learn more, make more mistakes.


I have two postulates here, none of which I can back up scientifically, but all of which I feel reasonably comfortable are true.

First, if I act on 100 assumptions or hopes during a day and the outcome shows 50 of those to be false, I will feel like I was wrong about “‍almost everything‍”. Being right is non-disruptive, it doesn’t really register. It’s the unexpected things that stick in our minds.

Second, I learn more about a topic by being right and wrong both with fair frequency. If I’m usually wrong then my mental model is broken. If I’m usually right then I’m not venturing into the unknown.

Combining these two postulates, on those days when I feel rather stupid, where it seems like I am wrong about almost everything and almost every action I take fails, those are the days I am doing it right, that I am learning and growing the most. And those days where I really am doing poorly, not just in my head but in reality, are likely offsets to those days I hardly notice when I am doing well. I learn best by thinking on both sides of the truth.

Feeling inadequate, stressed out, worthless? Smile! It’s a sign of growth.

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