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This is how to not fail at failing

Admitting Failure

Humans tend to blame mistakes on external events, circumstances and people. Admitting failure goes against our ego, as we think it exposes our incompetence, leading to potential loss of respect and self-esteem. 

This makes us fear failure and highlights our tendency to attribute success to our efforts, and failure to circumstances.

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This is how to not fail at failing

This is how to not fail at failing

https://www.fastcompany.com/90461064/this-is-how-to-not-fail-at-failing

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

Admitting Failure

Humans tend to blame mistakes on external events, circumstances and people. Admitting failure goes against our ego, as we think it exposes our incompetence, leading to potential loss of respect and self-esteem. 

This makes us fear failure and highlights our tendency to attribute success to our efforts, and failure to circumstances.

Destigmatizing Failure

Recognizing that failure is healthy and a normal consequence of working in a complex environment can help us look at failure as a learning process instead of dreading it. It also helps to let your failure(s) be out in the open, making them visible to yourself and others.

A public failure is a learning for all, as they learn to make errors and take ownership of their mistakes. Openly admitting your mistakes also sends out a strong message of your being courageous, humble and bold.

Admitting Errors 

Many mission-critical work environments report errors and mistakes on time. This is because the employees are allowed to commit and share mistakes, and report them without fearing that they will be sacked. This psychological safety is crucial to a healthy work environment.

It helps to know that failing is an inevitable part of our complicated working life, and aids our lifelong learning.

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The fear of regret

Being afraid of regret is a powerful driver of maintaining the status quo in our lives.

The “disposition effect”

It's a bias related to money and it describes how investors hold on tight to losing assets. The driving force behind this behavior is our fear of regret.

It shows we are very hesitant to sell an asset at a loss and we tend to hang on to it as it keeps dropping in value, hoping it will pick up again.

The “sunk cost bias”

When starting new projects, we tend to have high expectations of them doing well. We put a big amount of effort into them and even if see they don't go that well, we still choose not to opt-out. Instead, we hang on them longer, because we feel regret of leaving a project before it materializes.

We therefore fall into the trap of irrationally hanging on to it in order to avoid regret temporarily. 

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Hack the 10,000 hour rule

This rule was developed by Anders Ericsson and popularized by Malcolm Gladwell and states that we need  10,000 hours of deliberate practice to succeed at anything.

This may create f...

Plus, Minus, Equal

  • Plus: Find mentors, real (maybe someone from your work) or virtual (from books).  Learn from someone with more experience than you.
  • Minus: Explain what you are learning while you are learning it. Teach someone with less experience than you.
  • Equal: Find people who love what you love and spend as much time talking about this shared area as you can.

Micro-Skills

Every skill worth learning has dozens of micro-skills.

List the micro-skills. Figure out what you are good at, what you are bad at, and how you can learn to be better at each.

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The circular path

The circular path

... when you're trying to improve something look like this:

  • You start with some ideas.
  • You get excited for a while (1-2 weeks).
  • Maybe you take some s...

The staircase path

... when you're trying to improve something looks like this:

  • You get an idea.
  • You build a specific project around it (short-term).
  • Once you finish it, you move to the next idea and the project around it
  • Each project builds on the last, expanding options.

What defines the shape of your path

  • Focusing on one thing at a time until you finish it: if you focus on one project at a time until completion, you will make infinitely more progress than the person who does multiple projects at once.
  • Having the right method: doing something that’s outside your usual routine requires not just commitment, but new methods.
  • Actualization vs. possibility: the more you can adjust your life to the joys of doing and actualizing, over daydreaming and philosophizing, the more solid your life’s foundation will become.