What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail? That was a question that got quite a bit of attention in the final session of our mastermind group study of The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. John told me something else about failure on the audio lesson I had playing in the car early today, “how we think when we lose will determine how long it will be until we win.”
While those two statements seem to address very different things, I am immediately thankful for the environments I’ve been able to be a part of where making mistakes weren’t considered to be a failure, but part of the growth process… I’ve also been in a few environments where anyone that wanted to think for themselves would quickly be deemed an outcast. I can’t say I flourished there.
In each situation I’ve been in where progress was preferred over perfection, I’ve always been willing to take reasonable chances on things that could make me and the team around me better. Early in my career, this was usually at my employer’s expense. The level of trust they placed in me to have this type of flexibility gave me the confidence to try some things I may never have experienced otherwise. It also drove me to perform for them at a level that I may not have realized I was capable of otherwise… That trust early on also helped me develop a level of confidence that’s allowed me to take some significant steps when I’ve had to pay the bill. I’m certainly not going to share the actual number with you, but Cindy and I have invested more in certifications and licensing in the past two years than I’ve ever considered paying for a new vehicle… With some of the responses we’ve received from work we’ve done just this week, I would do it all over again! There’s certainly ROI!
But what if we weren’t getting that feedback? How quick would I be to make a statement about doing it all over again? I can certainly point to a number of things I’ve done that have not been good financial decisions. But with the right thinking into each loss, I’ve been able to draw what I’d like to consider as wisdom. And I truly believe that’s helped me be more effective in other situations since.
In wrapping this up, what chances have you been willing to take? How have you approached the ones that most others would have considered to be failures? Have you been intentional about pulling lessons from them that you could apply elsewhere? I’ve found that the cost of a loss doesn’t hurt as much if I can apply the lesson to a win in another area.
Talk with you soon,