Learning from failure

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When we do experience failure, we need to approach what has gone wrong in a realistic way too. If we don’t examine the reasons why we have failed or are failing then we may find ourselves condemned to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Even worse is refusing to admit that we have failed in the first place and burying the evidence. This means that not only are we failing to examine what has gone wrong but that we are actually treating something that is wrong as if it were right. This is a very dangerous thing to do.

Einstein’s famous definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. It’s a very well known saying, but judging by the way that most people behave it is also a very ignored saying. One of the most common ways that this manifests itself is to insist that when something goes wrong the way to put it right is to do more of what is causing the problem. The place to see this writ large is in many government programmes where ideology has taken over from evidence. But to be fair the government is only acting in the same way that individuals do. We all have a tendency to get stuck in a rut, and protect our rut, regardless of whether the rut is actually a sensible way to proceed or not.

Quote from Secrets of Productive People: 50 Techniques To Get Things Done (Teach Yourself) by Mark Forster. Get it on Kindle here http://amzn.to/1PkYV1E (affiliate link)

Comic by Dilbert. More Dilbert on failure here http://bit.ly/1Oo5M91

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