Keeping Things Simple – part one

Well, it’s that time of year again when we all take stock of the past year, where we are today, and what we’d like to change or improve for next year.
I know there’s a tendency to scoff at that, because we so frequently fail to attain our New Years resolutions, but I’m going to resist that.
I think that there’s a good lesson in that simple fact alone – just because we’ve tried something before and failed doesn’t justify or mean we should not try again. Is there anyone, anywhere, who got “it” perfect the first time they tried. I doubt it.
And so it goes with developing new habits, setting and achieving goals, and making meaningful changes in life. The smart money says that you should start working toward your goal with the knowledge that we’re going to fail, and if we quit as soon as we experience failure we won’t get very far.

“Succeeding is not really a life experience that does much good. Failing is a much more sobering and enlightening experience.” Michael Eisner

There’s a smarter, better way to approach your New Year’s Resolution. I think it’s best expressed in a quote from Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM::

“The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.”

The very spirit of this idea is that failure, or mistakes, are inherent on the path to achieving anything. Rather than expecting to get it perfect the first time, a better idea is to try, fail, learn that lesson and then try again… quickly.
There’s no question that this approach correctly mirrors the activity of almost any successful business. Facebook didn’t start out looking like it does today, but they got better as they went along. So can we!
Tomorrow’s post: “Keeping Things Simple – part two”

One Response to “Keeping Things Simple – part one”

  1. Altiona says:

    "The way to succeed is to double your failure rate." is great wisdom.