The innovation’s biggest enemy is our ego.
Let us try to understand why the world we are living in, demands us to quickly realize, accept and fix our mistakes. The Guidelines of the famous economist Tim Harford will help us to understand this article in depth.
“FEW OF OUR FAILURES ARE FATAL”
This line may be true and it’s because every one of us had gone through some extremely tough times at least once in life. But we were always taught to ignore the failures and just persevere. No one taught us that these very failures are our greatest teachers one could ask for. They didn’t teach us to embrace our failures and learn from them and eliminate all forthcoming miscalculations on our life’s resume. The truth is; whenever we are encapsulated in dreadful circumstances, the natural tendency is to become too upset or at worse go into depression. What we don’t realize is that these failures can be converted into our benefit by leaving our ego behind and facing the problem with stronger and smarter approach.
THE WRONG WAY TO REACT TO FAILURE
According to Tim Harford’s Adapt
“SUCCESS COMES THROUGH RAPIDLY FIXING OUR MISTAKES THAN BY MAKING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.”
Tell me one person who wants to achieve unparalleled success, but don’t know what failure tastes like. You can’t because there isn’t one. Every major Success story has one major theory behind it. That theory consists of all the correct calculations both scientific and emotional that went wrong resulting in their failures previously. This theory is the backbone of their success. Normally when things tend to fall apart, our defence mechanisms comes into play from nowhere and tries every possible desperate attempt to fix what went wrong. During these times, the most common normal reactions such as denial, chasing our losses and hedonic editing also drifts us far away from the reality wreaking havoc inside our brain. Have a look and you will know for yourself!
The hardest thing in the world is accepting that you have made a mistake. Accepting the consequences and then reanalyzing the problem with a different approach. Some emotional conflicts are bound to give you pain, the best way to lessen your pain is to communicate less and take your time to regain your thoughts. Other things may just need a direct, calculated action and if you fail, you always have a second chance to come back to it. Don’t try to deny the pain, it will persistently come back and hurt you. Thus the best way to get over it is to face it.
- CHASING YOUR LOSSES
For its one thing to persistently work for your goal until you achieve it. Sometimes the best way to approach a problem is to see where you have possibly gone wrong in the first attempt and then don’t repeat it. For example, the poker players who have lost a significant amount are bound to make a hasty decision to put it all on the stake to win their money back.
- HEDONIC EDITING
Sometimes we are in a midst of our problematic phase and start convincing ourselves that our failures don’t matter or we trying to weigh the ratio of our success to failures, or even worse comparing someone else’s failures with our success and be satisfied with ourselves. We somehow make peace with our failures by interpreting them somehow with our success.
“WE’RE SO ANXIOUS NOT TO DRAW A LINE UNDER A DECISION WE REGRET THAT WE END UP CAUSING STILL MORE DAMAGE WHILE TRYING TO ERASE IT.”
The truth we cannot exactly fathom is that our “great idea” will either swim or sink in once it’s out there.
Thus, Harford has outlined some principles for productive failing.
TRY NEW THINGS
Exposing yourself to a variety of different ideas and people will help you to widen your thinking, and will help you analyse what not to do while working sincerely on your idea.
EXPERIMENT WHERE FAILURE IS SURVIVABLE
Stop playing safe and go into the playground. Take all sorts of projects, which involve a subsequent amount of risk and involve a lot to learn. For determining your potential you must operate with your inner strength and outside your comfort zone. Only then will you be able to embrace your success when you have tasted failure more than once.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE FAILURE
Well, this is actually the hard part and it can also involve you being completely lost in your thoughts. Only through self-revelation, you can come to know what possibly went wrong and fix it. This may also involve spending alone time and thinking silently. Once you have recognised your failure from your true heart you will have the motivation to re-cast it into something more meaningful, which will be valued and appreciated.
Corrective feedback from an experienced peer is essentially important to determine whether your experiments are successful or not. This tactic is mainly helpful for business purposes. You may think that your product is exceptional, but is it really satisfying the needs of your targeted customers that can be thoroughly analysed through a proper feedback, not just from one person but from several persons. If the feedback you receive is harsh and objective “ignore the venom and dig on to real stuff”.
REMOVE EMOTIONS FROM THE EQUATION
Sometimes it is important to forget all about your success and failures and just concentrate on the point where you are standing upon. Make every step right or at least try.
DON’T GET TOO ATTACHED WITH YOUR PLANS
All plans fail with their first contact with the enemy. The main problem with a carefully constructed well-defined plan is that it makes our perception resistible to even think of failure and necessary adaptation that may be required at some point. (Think of the Titanic, a luxurious gigantic ship, carefully engineered with no possibility of failure until it hit an iceberg).
CREATING SAFE PLACES TO FAIL
“The failures you commit in the confines of your comfortable space with no strangers watching are probably the best one”. But many of us may not afford this luxury of time and freedom due to our extremely busy schedules.
“THE SAFEST PLACE TO FAIL IS A STATE OF MIND”