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What do we learn from our failures?

Updated on February 6, 2008

We gain experience

We have been taught all our lives to avoid failure at all cost. What a poor message. The truth is that we have our most profound growing experience after failures. We truly do not learn on a deep level when we simply read a how to book or listen to audio programs. We learn and the lessons become deeply embedded in our subconscious mind when we experience failure.

One of my business associates said that we need scar tissue to go along with brain tissue. At first I did not understand what he meant. He went on to explain that the scar tissue is the battles we have been in. The real world experiences that shape our lives and our actions. It is the old saying, success comes from good decisions, good decisions come from experience and we gain the experience from bad decisions.

If you are in business you should become aware of the concept ready, fire, aim. Because so many people are afraid of failure, they become paralyzed. They fail to take action. There can be no success without action. The trick is to take action, measure the results and then adjust. It does not matter what you plan to do, you will not do it as good as possible the first time you try. Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly at first but learning and improving.

Thomas Edison had failed over 10,000 times in finding a filament for the light bulb. A reporter asked him how it felt about failing that many times. Edison responded that he had not failed, he had learned over 10,000 ways that it would not work. The more we learn about what won't work, the more we narrow the possibilities about what will work.

One of the keys to successful marketing is to test, test and test. You should not consider a product or promotion that does not work a failure, you should consider it a learning experience.

One last thing. It has been said that knowledge is power. That is not so. Applied knowledge is power. So if you learn from your mistakes and apply what you learn you will become very powerful. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn. The more you apply what you learn, the more successful you will be.


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