😩When Do We Fail?
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Recently, I've been thinking about what is considered a failure. The way I see the world, everything we do is an experiment that gives us some insights. Back when I was organizing concerts, a loss in revenue didn't mean failure. It said that we still had to learn how to handle our finances. We did something right, and we did something wrong. Eliminate the wrong, and we'll be on a path towards success.
I like the concept of the pivot, as explained by Eric Ries in his "Lean Startup" book. It's when you change one aspect of your enterprise (be it business or personal) while leaving the other aspect intact. Much like a dancer keeps one foot firmly on the ground and uses the other to go into pirouette (at least that's how I imagine it).
Last year I decided to write regularly and post at least two articles on my blog per month. Then I learned about Medium publications, and I pivoted towards contributing at least two articles to different high-profile publications on Medium. Then I started teaching courses, and my regular writing practice was suddenly focused on creating learning material for my students. And now, I'm writing a book. My main goal is to keep adding content to the chapters every day.
What stayed the same? The regular writing practice. What changed? Everything else, many times.
Did I fail with achieving my goal? One may definitely say so as I'm not posting two articles the way I planned. But I don't feel like it. In fact, I think I've succeeded in the things that mattered most, that is writing regularly.
If you think you may be failing at something, stop for a while and consider the successes that you also have. Maybe instead of calling it quits, you can try pivoting? Keep the right things, replace those that no longer serve you. Try another experiment. Learn as much as you can from your experience.
Thanks to your help I managed to edit and publish the article I asked you about the last time. "30 Books in 20 Weeks? Why Reading Challenges Are Great" is available on The Ascent now. If you find it interesting, don't hesitate to use the clap 👏 button.
Last week I started reading the book "Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams." It's a second book I've read this year written by a neurobiologist, and I have to say it is equally amazing and fascinating. It's not just that our brains are mysterious and astonishing. What I admire the most is the authors' ability to talk about science and technicalities in a light and engaging way!
If you don't want to read the whole book but are still interested in the content, there's a Blinkist version as well. It condenses the topic to 12 minutes. Probably shorter than your daily commute.