It is a fact of life that from time to time we will all fail in what we are doing. No exceptions.
The manufacturers of NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter created thrusters software that used imperial units and not the metric units used by NASA. The result was that the Orbiter hit the atmosphere at the wrong angle and burned up.
A simple error and an expensive one in a situation where one error can be mission destructive!
Thankfully our failures are not so dramatic and can benefit us.
The Olympic figure-skating champion Shizuka Arakawa fell more than 20,000 times in training to be an Olympic champion.
She kept on training instead of giving up as she did not interpret falling down as failure.
She instead regarded failure as a means of improving and evidence that she was improving.
Failure provided her with an opportunity to learn, to develop and to adapt.
It is estimated that Thomas Edison made over 10,000 experiments to refine a light bulb that would properly work.
He afterwards said that “if I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”.
Again he was learning, adapting and developing.
The paradox of excellence is that it is build upon the foundations of failure.
A growth mindset embraces failure as it takes the positive out of every mistake.
This is a mindset that should be encouraged at work and from day one in the educational system.
Do you encourage a growth mindset?