Feedback or Failure?

By 3rd February 2019 2 Comments

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. – Henry Ford
Failure is an awful word with many negative thoughts and feelings attached to it. We’ve all failed at something. Usually they pop up in memories when we are deciding whether to do something or not.
The best one’s are the failures that aren’t even our own but the ones of our friends and relatives. They tried and it didn’t work for them so why should it work for us, right? We’ve all been told horror stories of people that put themselves on the line and came up short.

My question is always “So what?” I feel that if I want to do something and someone I know has failed then I can always do things differently. (I always find the problem to be when I think I’m copying someone and don’t get the same results – but that’s for some other time)

I find the beauty of the human mind is that it can produce a result whenever it is told to. Whenever it is given clear instruction that is. Think more “I WANT THIS AND HERE’S WHAT I’M GONNA DO!” rather than “Well, I kinda feel like this would be good but maybe that would be better…. erm actually, im not so sure now, cause my mate said that he once knew someone who thought about doing it and gave it a go once and it didn’t work for them

I have a real issue with failure in the way it is usually perceived. I remember the first time a coach told me to use it as feedback rather than failure and work with it rather than have it work against me. The results were staggering to me. Its one of the best pieces of advice i’ve ever been given.

I believe (and it is only my belief) that failure can only occur when placed within a time barrier. I can definitely fail to win a Jiu Jitsu competition if the person I am fighting scores more points than I do, faster, in the time allowed. Or submits me before I submit him. But can I fail at being as good as I can be within Jiu Jitsu if I plan on doing this for as long as my body will allow? As long as I show up and train, can I fail to be better than I was before? I know it can feel like failure when you are getting swept and submitted constantly, but what if rather than letting that make me fail (and quit) can I use it as feedback, work with it and use it to make myself better? Can I fail if I use that thought pattern?

If you’ve never trained BJJ (YOU CRAZY FOOL!) then you could really use any sport. I can fail to win a tennis match if the person I’m playing, scores more points faster but as long as I keep taking my racket, can I really fail to become a better tennis player?

As Henry Ford said “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. Notice that the quote isn’t “Failure is simply the opportunity to TRY again, this time more intelligently.


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