*If you’ve just started reading this post I recommend you start with part one. I’m working through the thoughts and notes I first put there.  Read the first post HERE and read the second post HERE and the third post HERE This is part FOUR of the series. LEARN

Confucius say; “Our greatest glory is in never failing but in rising every time we fall.”

If all we do when we fail is wallow in our own self pity, we have only failed twice. Trying and failing is important for success, but only when we learn from it. I've shared with you some of my failures and attempts I've made at trying new things. I shared with you some of those moments I failed but never was willing to admit to myself or to others. I've had to step back and look at what I've learned and how I want to move forward.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Some of the things I've learned from what I've failed at:

  • Failing in my blogs I have learned a lot of things. I have learned what software is best (WordPress by far, LiveJournal and Blogspot were terrible to work with). I have learned consistency is key and fresh material is important.
  • School. From failing I've learned how I learn best. I pulled my GPA from 1.98 in my first semester of college to 3.5 in my final year. I learned how to learn.
  • Ads and marketing campaigns. I've learned better how to propel action from the audience and create moments that people remember.
  • With teaching as a youth pastor, I learned more and more what worked and what didn't. I took notes on my lessons series, I took notes from my books and I tried new things from what I learned.

It's important to try for the sake of trying, but failing for the sake of failing is pointless. You fail so you can learn and adjust (adjust will be tomorrow's topic).

I wish I could say that I have learned something every time I have failed. I have failed in relationships with friends and family and I wish could say I have learned how not to do that again. I have failed in many attempts of film and graphics, but haven't always learned what I did wrong with keyframes, timing, etc.

If I'm not willing to stop after failing and take a moment to turn around and look at what happened and why, it only becomes this pointless cyclic endeavor that effects myself and all those involved. We need to step back from those moments of failure and take time to make some notes.

For myself, I have a learned a few things from my failures that I am thankful for:

  • Journals. I keep records now of stuff I've done with clients, with software, etc. I keep notes of feedback on projects that I have done, both from myself and clients.
  • Don't repeat the same mistake twice. It's okay to fail, but if you keep doing the same thing you end up with the same result. I try my best not to do the same thing that caused me to fail in the first place.
  • Experience. From trying and failing at things I have gained experience. I have a better sense of timing, exposures, movements etc.
  • Knowledge. I try to see all my failures as a gain in knowledge. I learned what didn't work. I learned what could have worked. I learned what I like or don't like. I've gained knowledge from the experience of trying and failing.

"A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience." Elbert Hubbard

What have you learned from your attempts and failures?


Matthew A. Hawkins