Posts tagged ‘learning’

August 7, 2017

How to succeed: Fail copiously and spectacularly

Looking for the key to success? Apparently the secret is to rack up several previous failures, the more numerous and spectacular the better! I came across the following research summary in the book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. The boldface and italic emphases in the text are my own.

A few years ago, two management researchers became curious about what factors predict when a space flight will succeed. Going back to the first launch of Sputnik I in 1957, they tracked every launch globally for nearly five decades across thirty organizations — mostly governments but also some private companies. You might think the best odds of a successful launch would come after past successes, but the data from more than four thousand launches showed the exact opposite. The more times a government or company had failed, the more likely they were to put a rocket into orbit successfully on the next try. Also, their chances of success increased after a rocket exploded compared to a smaller failure. Not only do we learn more from failure than from success, we learn more from bigger failures because we scrutinize them more closely.¬†

If you apply this same finding to your own life, what is the result? The more times you fail at something, the closer you get to actually achieving it. And those absolutely spectacular failures that threaten to destroy you? They’re actually your best helpers, because they teach you what you need to know for next time (and force you to learn the lessons).

The next time you fail at something, celebrate that moment as another step towards your future success. You’ve got this. ūüôā

Advertisements
February 29, 2016

The map of enough lies within you

Build a yurt and embrace the natural world and your own inner nature? Molly Caro May does that in her excellent and insightful book The Map of Enough.

My takeaways: Follow your dreams; they will lead you where you need to go. And, everyone struggles to accept and love parts of who they are; taking time to slow down and listen to what’s going on inside will surely help you get there.

Some wise words from the book:

Make friends with the act of repetition, with the fact that . . . learning [doesn’t] happen in a linear way, that it require[s] going back over our same glitches, feeling our same feelings, until one day they simply [aren’t] there anymore. We all regress in order to grow.

I could never be part of all the important moments. I could only tend my own, even the ones that felt unremarkable.

What would happen if every single human, in one collective moment, revealed the impulses within that didn’t match the image we each show to the world.

What, indeed. . . . There is a vividly authentic life inside each one of us, just waiting to be lived.

October 20, 2015

Observed on the street: time for a change

I found this little sign in a gift shop in Smithers, British Columbia:

20151019_TimeChangesEverything

Time changes everything. Does it? And if so, how? Is the secret in the simple fact that “time heals,” or does the passing of time allow us to gain a better perspective on life, loss, value and what really matters in the long run?

Time changes everything. I want to believe that it will, but I’m looking for the proof.

September 26, 2014

Revel in the long way home

Thought for the day, courtesy of blogger Caroline Ross (a.k.a. yours truly):

The shortest distance between point A and point B is not, where learning experiences are concerned, a straight line.

Cherish those twisty, turny meanderings. You grow stronger because of them.

February 19, 2014

The meat of life is here

Thought for the day, courtesy of author Annie Dillard:

There are not events but thoughts and the heart’s hard turning, the heart’s slow learning where to love and whom. The rest is merely gossip, and tales for other times.

December 27, 2013

Step beyond the threshold into something more

Thought for the day, courtesy of Franz Kafka:

From a certain point onward, there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.

In life, in love, in learning, seek this point. Reach it. Then exceed it.

November 23, 2013

It’s the storms that make us stronger

I just finished reading Katherine Palmer Gordon’s new book¬†We are Born with the Songs Inside Us, a collection of stories profiling 16 successful and inspiring First Nations people living in British Columbia. One of the persons featured, First Nations educator Anne Tenning from the Chemainus First Nation, now a resident of Penticton, shares my exact perspective on the cyclical nature of life and the benefits of surmounting hardship. Says Anne:

Yes, life has highs and lows. But sometimes the most valuable teachings come from the lows. You just have to hang on, hunker down and ride out the storm. No matter how tumultuous it may be, the storm inevitably passes and the sun comes out again, and you will be left stronger and wiser for that storm you just weathered.

My opinion — and my experience — exactly.

It can definitely be hard to recognize the potential for sun when you’re stuck in the middle of a long, dark night. But nothing lasts forever, not even the worst storm imaginable. Relief — and light — will come again, and you will be so much stronger for it.

June 22, 2013

In the abyss lies the treasure

I like this quote from American mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell about life’s hardships and the gifts they can give us:

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.  Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

How true.

April 29, 2013

Heartbreak – a journey (in three quotes)

Heartbreak: a journey (in three quotes):

The breaking of so great a thing
should make a greater crack.
(William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra)

She took a step and didn’t want to take any more,
but she did.
(Markus Zusak, The Book Thief)

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.
(Mary Oliver)

March 27, 2013

What we should tell our kids, every day . . .

A wonderful quote from Spanish cellist Pablo Casals:

Each second that we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. ¬†And what do we teach our children? ¬†We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. ¬†When will we also teach them what they are? ¬†We should say to each of them, “Do you know what you are? ¬†You are a marvel. ¬†You are unique. ¬†In all the world, there is no other child like you. . . . Your legs, your arms, your fingers, the way you move. . . . You have the capacity for anything. ¬†Yes, you are a marvel.”

Every child deserves to hear this, spoken with unrestrained energy and enthusiasm, from an adult in his or her life. ¬†Don’t you think?