A major step toward success is learning how to Fail Forward. Failing Forward is when we take the attempts at something that didn’t work out and learn from them.
In the Disney movie “Meet The Robinsons” a young boy is having a hard time with confidence until he meets a great and strange family. He tries to fix something and fails and is surprised when the family applauds him and toasts his failure. They treat it as a great and wonderful event. He learned something, and that is always a good thing. They take a Walt Disney quote “Keep Moving Forward” and make it a theme through out the movie. What a great lesson to learn.
Failing is a major step towards success. Thomas Edison learned over a thousand ways on how not to make a light bulb. His determination and motivation kept him going until he discovered how to make a light bulb, and we now have convenient light because of it.
We are creatures that need and crave learning. Some of our greatest lessons are learned when we fail. Some failures even lead to great staples we use everyday. Take the chocolate chip cookie (a personal favourite). In 1930 Ruth Wakefield an Inn Keeper was making chocolate cookies when she noticed she was out of bakers chocolate. She decided to cut up a chocolate bar into the dough expecting the chocolate to melt and blend into the cookies. Two inventions were made that day, Chocolate chips and Chocolate chip cookies, a staple in many homes today. Paper towels were invented when a batch of toilet paper at the Scott factory turned out to thick. Mr. Scott thought this could help school children to have their own wash up towels to stop the spread of germs. Not only can we learn from our mistakes but some “mistakes” have helped people in everyday life.
Failing and giving up are 2 different things. We only truly fail when we give up, until them we are Failing Forward. The minute we stop trying or start beating ourselves up for something that didn’t work out we are taking the learning opportunity out of it. Giving up is a choice.
Take losing weight for example. In January everybody makes a resolution to lose weight. Gyms have the highest number of enrollments in January. For about the first week everyone does really really well. They walk or run, they count calories or eat less carbs. Then it happens, the dreaded craving. A person will crave a certain food be it Chocolate or chips, and at that point they will binge and eat way to much. When they eat to much they will decide they had failed the lifestyle change they were trying so desperately to make they decide they weren’t meant to be skinny, they weren’t meant to be healthy they are a failure.
Would any of us walk if we gave up the first time we fell? When we are trying to learn something that is worth learning there are going to be failures it is inevitable. What we can do is be like the Robinsons and celebrate failure because it is one step closer to success and it is a lesson to be learned. We learned something and that is worth celebrating.
If we learn to fail forward and learn from our mistakes then we are on the right path to discovering our missions. Failing Forward is an attitude, it is a way of relaxing and letting the learning process play itself out. If you want to be truly successful we need to learn to fail forward. I encourage you all to fail forward or in the immortal words of Mr. Walt Disney “Keep moving Forward”.
“Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life”
-Dr. David M. Burns-