Learn How You Fail

Ingenuity is often misunderstood. It is not a matter of superior intelligence but of character. It demands more than anything a willingness to recognize failure, to not paper over the cracks, and to change. It arises from deliberate, even obsessive, reflection on failure and constant searching for new solutions.

-Atul Gawande, Better

Learn how you fail is the first step towards learning how to win. The objective is to gain self-awareness of the reasons which lead to failure, and then make better decisions by reducing the inclination towards idealism. Being conscious that you cannot know everything, is the only way to become aware of how you fail. Knowing your own limitations, allows you to deliberately identify obstacles and concentrate on the goals you can reach.

Yes, you will fail! What’s more important is that you will win, once you know why you failed. The way to get the best out of it is to create a system to prevent the failure from happening again after you have figured out what went wrong. Creating a checklist or a type of protocol to prevent it from happening again when you find the weak point is another option to not go through failure again.

In this pattern what got my attention is the last sentence, which says “if you’re brave enough, get a friend to review your code, and see what else she can discover”. This is very accurate because everyone who writes code knows that there will be errors and it will take time to fix them. Even though you fix the errors you get, someone will find something else for you to fix, especially when you work in groups. This can be very tough because you feel like you are falling down. The reason why this happens is that we feed our brains to always win, and never lose. We reach the goal because we know how to do everything, and there are times when we do not reach the goal because there is something, we had no clue about. Is it time to step back? No! We should go through the failure, learn why you fail, and try again if you think you’re capable to fix it. As a conclusion, it can be very painful to learn how you fail, but in the end, you will have the skill to accept whatever life throws your way.

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