“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”
– Napoleon Hill
For this addition of the weekend challenge, I have a request that may seem rather strange. I want you to try something and fail at it.
I’ve learned more from failure than I have success. Dropping weights on myself taught me more about proper form than any fitness book could have. Pounding my head against a keyboard because I didn’t understand how to write a syntax function in Python provided me with a great educational experience. Having an awkward conversation with a girl, only to have her excuse herself for “a minute” and never return, motivated me to become a better conversationalist.
Initially failure sucks. The only thing I truly hate is the feeling of having failed. Yet, at the same time, I love failing. It is essential for learning any lessons of value, it provides great feedback on what needs to be improved, and it builds character and endurance like no other. Some of history’s greatest men, such as Thomas Edison, achieved greatness only after spending years slogging through failure. In Napoleon Hill’s masterpiece, Think and Grow Rich, Hill describes failure as a “temporary defeat” that always contains “blessings in disguise.”
Every failure contains numerous lessons the benefit from. Spend the weekend failing at various tasks and write down what you learned from each event. At the end of the weekend take a few minutes to go over your notes and figure out ways to avoid repeating those failures.
Now go forth and fail!