• Eve Arnold

Learning From the Right Failure

The failure we learn from is important. For the last, who knows how long, we all have strived to be richer. Most typically in the obvious sense of money, least typically in the equally obvious sense, of success, defined by, you. We are so abundantly different, it’s hard to believe that we all just want to be richer, and I think the truth is, we don’t. Now I’m not saying richer i.e. an extra quid, I’m talking rich, rich — like fancy cars, big houses — movie shit.

Failure and You

Failure is the best teacher of all and I think we all know how beneficial it is too fail. So often the stories are told of the founders who failed and failed, over and over. The huge success after years of living in a one bedroom apartment, with the mattress on the floor, with no room for activities (Step Brother’s quote) and all there was to eat was a pot-noodle every night.

We love the poetry of rags to riches and it then becomes the goal for almost all of us. But there is no point failing to become rich if being rich isn’t what you actually want, there is no point failing at becoming Michael Jordan, if you never really wanted to become a basket baller anyway.

We’d be better spending more time asking deeper questions than just writing down the same goals as everyone else and mindlessly pursuing them, only to be disappointed that we fail or worse we reach it and it’s not what we want anyway — hence a double failure. What if you are climbing the ladder, only to reach the top and find it’s the wrong ladder?

Opposite of Success

Failure is defined as being the direct opposite of success, failure is the lack of success. But success then is the problem here. Success is what we define it as, not what everybody else is doing. Just writing down ‘I want to be a millionaire by age 30’ or ‘I want to be a middle manager by 28’ seems a fairly blasé way of curating your life.

We are in a wondrous period of time where we can be selfish in our pursuit of the career we want — it doesn’t have to be the typical middle management job, 2.5 kids and BMW (whilst they are all brilliant goals for some people, they are not the only ones). Failure is (in my opinion) only good if it’s a direct learning of not achieving the thing you define as successful, and if you haven’t even thought about what success is to you, that’s a good place to start.

Originally published at https://www.careerhealth.info on February 22, 2020.

#Lessons #Learning #Failure #Work #Careers

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