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On Failure and Learning from Mistakes

On Failure and Learning from Mistakes - Ryan Allis

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

– Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

Most people are afraid to fail. They worry constantly about not meeting expectations, making a mistake, or trying something new. Because of this, many never get started on the path toward
reaching their goals.. and thus assure themselves of the very thing they are afraid of.. failure. In order to become a successful entrepreneur you will likely have to ‘pay your dues.' You'll likely have to fail a few times, learn from your lessons, and only then be able to come through a winner. While you don't have to take wild chances, you do have to take calculated and educated risks.

In the world of academics, mistakes are perceived as bad and to be avoided. For the first twenty-two years of your life, you are taught that mistakes are bad and embarrassing.. when in fact mistakes are simply opportunities to learn something new. The more mistakes a person makes, the more they will have learned and the greater chance they will have of succeeding on their next try. The key, however, is to learn from your mistakes and never make the same mistake twice.

Thomas Edison would have never invented the light bulb if he did not take this principle to heart. Edison failed more than 10,000 times before he found the filament that would create light for a sustained period of time. He did not view these as failures, however. On the 6,635th try to find a proper filament for the light bulb, Edison did not see himself has having failed 6634 times. He reframed the situation so that to him he had successfully eliminated 6,643 possibilities, refining and narrowing his search as he proceeded, drawing him closer and closer to his goal.

Two other failures you may have heard of are Levi Strauss and Christopher Columbus. Strauss headed for the gold mines of California in hopes of gold and glory. But he found none. Instead, this failure gave him new knowledge of a gap in the marketplace. He began selling pants out of canvas for the miners that were succeeding.

Today, we've all heard of Levi Strauss jeans. Columbus failed miserably on his goal to find a route to India . However, in failing he ran into a new opportunity.. that of the new world. By taking action and learning from your mistakes and failures, you'll gain new knowledge and become aware of many new opportunities. When you come to the edge of what you know, it's time to make some mistakes.

Source : Ryan Allis
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