Blog Archive

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Famous Failures

There is nothing to fear but fear itself

The world is full of famous failures:

James Dyson

He famously tried to develop his famous vacuum cleaner 5000 times. This means that he failed 4999 times. What would have happened to him if he had given up on the 4998th time? Failure just was not an option for him. He just kept going until the end result was the right one and he had the design which was right.

Even then, he failed to get anyone to accept his new design! No-one wanted it. They did not want to manufacture it, they did not want to distribute it.

It is only by going through this type of failure that we now have the Dyson Vacuum Cleaner.

No-one wanted it here, so he went to Japan, where it won an award. He has his own manufacturing company, he has a knighthood. He did not face the fear, and rejection and failure by hiding in his room, shivering under the duvet. Perhaps for him, it was not a failure, but just another step towards his goal.

The way we survive massive failures like this, is by having self belief. By not letting our reactions go overboard when we have failed.

Do not forget that the world and our view of the world is very much made up of how we ourselves perceive it.

If someone is walking along the street and something terrible happens to them. What happens? Let us say that they fall over, or they do a huge sneeze which causes all the snot to erupt from their noses. For the person, this might be a hugely humiliating experience because they are the superstars in their own world. But for other people around them, who are also the superstars in their own worlds, it is just something minor happening to someone walking past.

It could be a short anecdote when they get home and tell their friends, but that is all.

Re-examine your failure and see what you have learned. Is it just a question of trying again somewhere else? Do you have to adjust something? Re-write? re-design?

From our failures sometimes, come our best successes.

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