I have recently developed an obsession with failure. Actually, I don't think it's just me. Failure has become sort of a trendy topic...a sort of "failure fetish," as termed by The Atlantic. We all love the idea this Alli Worthington communicated so eloquently on the podcast Beyond the To Do List:
I really like the approach shared in a recent post from iDoneThis: Treat Failure Like a Scientist.
Your failures are simply data points that can help lead you to the right answer...If you're focused on building a new habit, or learning a new skill...then you're basically experimenting in one way or another. If you run enough experiments, then sometimes you're going to get a negative result.So what are my negative "data points"? The post title gives it away - I'm a perfectionist. And while Fast Company shares ideas on the "good perfectionism", it occasionally means that I don't like to distribute things until they are perfect. Apply this to a digital model, with its near infinite number of details, formulas, and attributes. Try achieving perfection before a project is done. Yeah, you can see how well that goes!
How can I treat my perfectionist tendencies like a scientist? Well, I've noted that it is a repeat behavior - and noted its negative impact on my projects. When I hold seemingly imperfect information too closely, others don't have the information they need. How to mitigate? Of course, I'm still perfecting that strategy, but I try to identify what is "good enough" for individual deliverables.
What is your negative "data point"? How are you (or could you) treat failure like a scientist? Leave your thoughts in the comments, Tweet at me, or email me using the form at the bottom of this page.
You might also like to read:
When Computers Fail
Like what you read here? Don't want to miss my next post?