Failure – a Stepping Stone to Success

success or failure
Success or failure?
Success at the work place is determined by a person’s personality and attitude towards work. Is he able to move on despite mistakes made or would he rather continue to introspect and dwell on what went wrong, where, how and why. If he could persevere and hold on for some time, he would be better off, and eventually success would be inevitable. The secret to be effective then, is to move on rather than brood about what could have been.

Being rational and unemotional is important since that alone makes good sense prevail. Everyone cannot be correct all the time, and the signs of a mature person are one who is able to accept failure in the same stride as success. Emotion is one sentiment that is detrimental to success, the ability to accept things in your stride is the key.

But it is difficult to find too many people who have the ability to treat success and failure in the same stride. Most people go crazy if failure crops in. It sets off a chain reaction and the blame game begins. One bad result and someone is blamed. One quarter of low profits means someone’s job must go. This is neither justified nor correct. In any organization every action or result is the culmination of a series of attempts and actions, out of which some succeed while others do not. The way forward is to see what worked, and review the list of positive steps taken, what did not work, and detail those that failed so that they are not repeated. After this, decide how to proceed. If at this time the blame game sets in due to what failed, the task ahead becomes tougher, delayed, and distorted.

This methodology holds true for real life situations, for businesses and relationships as well. Everything must be measured and evaluated but impartially, unemotionally and without pinpointing whose fault it was. A decision made with a detached approach is often the most sensible one.

The Positives that worked

It is a good idea to make a list of successful attempts and actions that bore fruit, and could be repeated and what was responsible for the creation of excellence. Acknowledgement of these is reassuring and helps to build confidence and leads to higher self-esteem. A focus on what worked is a positive step that generates positive energy. Celebrating successful initiatives by yourself and others is a good method of building momentum for searching for solutions. This kind of a focus inevitably leads to positive outcomes.

The Steps that did not succeed

While it is not a bad idea to go over the past failures to find out what went wrong, what factors led to the mistake, how it could have been avoided, it is certainly not necessary to probe who made the mistake. It is the shortcoming of the system at most times that leads to failure and not a particular individual. Better support, conscious focus and quality enhancing endeavors can lead to the reduction in the scope of errors.

History bears proof of the fact that many things have been created after the first and second attempts failed. Had those previous attempts been successful, those creations and inventions may never have taken place. Thus failure must be treated as a stepping stone to success.

Let us move on

The past is dead and gone, and with it the mistakes, errors and failures. It is better to proceed to move on ahead, decide on a plan for the future, develop strategies after learning from the mistakes rather than being upset about them. Resting on laurels of past accomplishments for too long will lead to complacency too. The US Marine Corps motto – Forget it, Drive on, should be the principle to adopt, and learn from every experience.

Planning the next step moves the focus from the past towards the future and the negative spell is broken. It is a good idea to involve everyone to make a plan of action for the future, objectively, impartially and giving an equal opportunity to all. Opportunities to create excellence are laced with a combination of success and failure, and every successful venture has faced problems, hiccups and mistakes, and yet succeeded eventually. Why? Because they decided to simply ignore the mistakes and move on.

About the Author

Neil Is MD of eMobileScan who are building on the success of their UK site and have now plans to becoming one of the biggest European wide retailers of hand held computers as well as other data collection terminals.

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