You are currently viewing Wisdom comes from failure
Brent Knight, CSP; President of ISS, Inc.

If you have ever been around me, then you have likely heard me say that wisdom comes from failure. Sure, I think that we learn from our successes, but undoubtedly, we learn much more from our failures.

If you think about it, the euphoria of a win or a success wears off quickly. Unlike a win, a loss or failure looms in your mind for much longer and sometimes forever. I can point to many mistakes or failures in my life and remember them like they just occurred. The proverbial bruise will not likely ever go away.

I think that it might be important to frame failure in a positive light. Sure, it sucks, but the lessons that we learn should make us better and prevent similar failures in the future. I like to consider these the life lessons that mold and shape us into who we are. I feel that we start learning these lessons from a very early age and hopefully never stop learning as long as we are on this planet.

The equation for success at anything should include the following:
1) Try something challenging without a fear of failure.
2) Learn as much as possible from every failure.
3) Speed up the feedback loop of useful failures.
4) Repeat indefinitely.

Many people fear failure so much that they are unwilling to take any risks. By not taking risks, we are unlikely to see any reward. Many people don’t succeed because they’re either unwilling to fail, or they get tired of failing before those failures pay off. This is a key point to consider. Without failure, it is unlikely that there will be success. In addition, if you seek success, find failure that feels fun.

Here are some things to consider. What do you have fun failing at? How has that paid off for you? What do you keep trying to excel but hate failing at? How has that held you back?

Don’t fear failing, embrace it and use it to your advantage. Just don’t repeat mistakes but rather learn from them and grow. By doing this, you can reach your full potential.