Fight or Flight: Learning from Mistakes
I didn’t fail 10,000 times. Not even once. I succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.
Thomas Edison was destined for failure. His school teachers accused him of being too stupid to learn anything. He was let go from his first two jobs for being unproductive. Then he turned to inventing, where for a while things weren’t much better. You know Edison, among other reasons, for inventing the light bulb. But Edison actually took 10,000 attempts to create a working light bulb. As the story goes, someone asked him how it felt to fail 10,000 times, to which Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 10,000 times. Not even once. I succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.”
It’s just a matter of perspective. Or attitude. Don’t look at your own mistakes as failures. Instead, see each one as getting a step closer to success. View them as learning experiences.
You think the world’s most successful people never failed? They probably failed more often than most people you know, because they took more risks―it’s all a numbers game. But at least they’re taking chances. For ages, hockey coaches have preached to their teams to throw the puck at the net. Good things will eventually happen. After all, you can never score on shots that you don’t take. However, the puck may make a fortuitous bounce on the shots you do attempt.
Mistakes are the path to learning. Without them, you’d never know the consequences of not accomplishing tasks in a different way. Take network marketing, for example. For first-timers, direct sales might be appear to be a daunting, no-risk-no-reward type of opportunity. And from the start, newcomers are going to make mistakes. But they learn from their mentors (especially people who choose to join WorldVentures where teaching and mentorship is emphasized), from their peers and from each mistake what not to do on their next presentation, travel party or sales call. After a while, making mistakes becomes the rare outcome in a sea of successes.
Another nice thing about making mistakes is that you soon appreciate the value of getting things right. No embarrassment, no rejection, no failure. Think of it as a necessary evil on the road to the top. Bottom line: Embrace your mistakes, learn from them and move on.