Learn from success, not failure
Oh... what is he talking?...Is Kishu off his head this time around?
This may be your spontaneous reaction to the title. I know this idea in
contradicts what you have already heard and have to been told before.
There is a notion that we should learn from failure to succeed, the next
time when you attempt the same activity. Failure is taught to be good to
get the best out of you. We all know that it is true. But.....
Look back is a must in both cases
When faced with failure you become critical and when you taste
success you feel accomplished. Failure, therefore, is critically
analysed, while success is not.
A good appraisal will enlighten you on the flaws in planning and
execution and the use of that information will help to avoid the same or
similar flaws. How can one keep achieving great results or in the case
of an organisation keep elevating the level of success? It's simply by
identifying finer opportunities to continually develop and grow.
It's by making step changes to the way of doing things - consistently
looking for innovation and creativity to improve. Reflect on what you
and your organisation have done in the past? This I'm sure will enable a
Failure, forces one to get back to basics - success teaches you to
raise the bar
When failure occurs you usually go back to basics and correct the
fundamental flaws which make you cross the bar and claim the win.
Whereas when flaws in success are corrected it elevates the level of
success. The rate of success is not usually measured. If you develop the
habit of looking for opportunities for greater success you will always
see them. One-time success does not guarantee continued success -
consistent action does not always ensure consistent results. With
environmental challenges multiplying - to stay where you are, you have
to keep improving performance; be it your individual or employer's.
Success has no limits
Behind every success there is failure. It's just that such failure
finds refuge under overall success - and it does not surface by itself.
The feeling of happiness you derive out of success, blindfolds you in
most situations. There is no end to level success - after all no success
is perfect. If you want to learn from success, consider chunking down
the opportunities to improve into steps in which you can succeed more
easily or aim for greater success.
Analyse the root cause of success too
The fact that we learn more from our successes than from failure is
not new. Even family pets respond more to reward than punishment, and so
do our children. But what wasn't in the 'conscious mind' is how learning
out of success can guide you to achieve greater heights? In my view,
both failure and success should trigger further investigation. It helps
us revise our assumptions, models, inherent practices and behaviour. Why
not use the same approach to understand the root causes of success?
Let's challenge the theory for good reasons.
Nothing builds success like more success
Consider your goals - certainly you'll feel accomplished if you
succeed. But what if you fail? Do you have an 'intermediate' goal you'll
achieve if you fall short of your 'big' goal? In this case, you'll have
succeeded - and learned from the experience more than if you had simply
Or, what if you do 'fail' - what then? In what have you succeeded in
the process of 'failing'? What positive outcome did you achieve? Maybe
you made a mess of one thing but scored in another in the process. What
is it you did achieve? You may need to look deep - and in the search,
you'll discover the learning, part too.
I'm not a psychologist but my experience qualifies me to conclude
that success has a much greater influence on the brain than failure.
Success inspires us all and naturally motivates you to tap into your
maximum innate capacity. So use it for greater success.