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Heart Forward + Head High = Fully Alive

In this blog David Taylor-Klaus offers up some of his thoughts & theories, musings & mumblings, and contents & concepts. Read, enjoy, and comment ...

Entries in Failure (1)


Make Every Mistake A New One

"Failure is among life's least pleasant experiences, but nothing else is as essential to success."
-- Marisa Taylor in an Ode Magazine article

We're trained from an early age to celebrate success, yet we have no training, no cultural norm, around celebrating failure. In fact, we push towards a zero-tolerance for failure. "You got 98 on the test? What happened to the other 2 points?" When we dismiss our failures, we cut ourselves off from rich learning.

I had a job, once, where I was miserable. I had lost respect for the CEO and the way the company was run. Our values were out of sync. For all intents and purposes, the job was an utter failure ... but I stayed for the paycheck. 

Looking back, I learned a lot from it. That job informed the hiring pratice and the client selection process when I co-founded a new business.  My partner and I committed to hiring people and working with clients whose values matched our values and those of our company. And, yes, there were some "learning-rich" failures there, too. We failed. We learned. We adjusted. We moved forward.

Newsweek Magazine commits the last page of every issue to a celebration of failure with a feature called, "My Favorite Mistake." Icons share a pivotal failure and the learning gleened from it: Sara Blakely's "fanny" faux pas on live BBC interview, Dennis Quaid's cocaine addiction, Muhammad Yunus's mistake that cost him the bank he founded.

My invitation to you is to celebrate every failure by acknowledging the learning you are taking from it. And while you're at it, make every mistake a new one!

     Fail. Learn. Move Forward.