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Error Recovery

By: Michael Blankenship |

“You always pass failure on your way to success.” 

– Mickey Rooney

Did you know, as Daniel Kahneman points out in his book, Noise, that physicians are significantly more likely to prescribe opioids at the end of a long day? Or how about that judicial sentences tend to be more severe when it’s hot outside? Or that the stock market is affected by sunshine? That’s just a small sample of evidence showing that us humans are not so consistent in our judgements as we think we are. It’s a fascinating (and disturbing) book. 

Error Recovery

We stumbled upon this Facebook post some time ago from Scott Oldford: “The core skill of a successful entrepreneur is error recovery, not failure avoidance.”

I’d only like to change one part of that quote.

“The core skill of a successful PERSON is error recovery, not failure avoidance.”

Anyone who’s trying to do anything harder than they’re used to will need to master the art of “error recovery.”

It’s misleading.

You might think that the lesson of a failure — certainly the easiest interpretation — is that you are not good enough. You tried something. You failed. You are the problem.

But that’s wrong.

If you read the fine print, you’ll find that each failure contains a secret: a valuable lesson only learned in the valley.

If you miss it, then you’ve missed the point.

Failure teaches you what you did wrong and how to do better.

All you must have is the grit to keep going, the humility to be wrong, and the wisdom to interpret failure’s lessons.

The faster you learn from your failures, the faster you’ll succeed.

If you’re riding. And you’re stumbling. But you’re getting up. And you’re learning.

Then you’re on the path to success.

Keep going.

Bill Gates Takes Breaks

Recently, Bill Gates spoke at the commencement ceremony for Northern Arizona University. His speech was titled, “5 Things I Wish I Heard at the Graduation I Never Had.”

(…referring to the fact that he never graduated from university)

His advice was refreshing. And maybe not what you expect. 

At one point he said, 

“When I was your age, I didn’t believe in vacations. I didn’t believe in weekends. I pushed everyone around me to work very long hours… But as I got older—and especially once I became a father—I realized there is more to life than work. Don’t wait as long as I did to learn this lesson. Take time to nurture your relationships, to celebrate your successes, and to recover from your losses.”

Learning to take breaks is an important part of life. 

But it’s not always easy. 

Here are some things to keep in mind about resting and rejuvenating…

Rest Is Not Laziness: It’s essential to differentiate between taking a break and being lazy. Rest is strategic, it’s about recharging and allowing your body and mind to recuperate. Laziness is a lack of action or effort where it’s needed.

Quality Over Quantity: Not all rest is created equal. Engage in activities that genuinely rejuvenate you. This could be anything from reading a book, going for a walk, or spending time with loved ones.

Mindful Breaks: Incorporate small breaks into your day. This can be as simple as a few minutes of deep breathing, a quick stretch, or a short walk. The aim is to break the monotony and refresh your mind.

Unplug: In an increasingly digital world, it’s important to take time away from screens. Unplugging helps to reduce mental fatigue and promotes better sleep, which is crucial for recovery.

Personal Time: Take time for self-reflection and personal development. Whether it’s pursuing a hobby or spending time in nature, nurturing your interests outside of work contributes to a well-rounded life.

Image of The Week

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle. The answer is at the bottom of the email!

What has ten letters and starts with gas?

This Week’s Journaling Prompt

Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt.

Why is failure NECESSARY for success? 

This Week’s Challenge

Write down three of your past failures. How did those things end up benefiting you in the long run? Your future and current failures can benefit you as well (if you let them)!

Riddle Answer: automobile

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