Many people spend their lives trying to learn from their mistakes! Successful people focus on learning from what they did well!

The Blog Behind the #Tweet – Last week I sent the following message via Twitter:

“Many people spend their lives trying to learn from their mistakes! Successful people focus on learning from what they did well!”

This short blog provides more explanation.

I believe that this one simple change of focus in the way you decide to learn from your experiences can transform your life for the better both professionally and personally.

We all know people who have “once bitten, twice shy” as their safety net of choice, people that have “been there, done that, have the scars”. If all people took this approach we would still be in the Dark Ages (literally). It is well documented that Thomas Edison experimented thousands of times over many years to perfect the light bulb. Rather than seeing each failed experiment as error, he saw it as finding another way of “how not to do it”. The fact is that people who think positively about problems are far more likely to solve them than people who see things negatively.

If you are a manager then switch your thinking and your conversations with your people to look for the good that they do. Praise them in public when things go well, talk openly to the team about what made what they did so good. In contrast do not admonish in public, if a team member disappoints you then tell them in private away from the team.

There is of course another batch of people, the people that do not analyse their own performances at all, either good or bad. These are the people that will tell you that they have “ten years’ experience” in their role, when in fact they have just repeated the first year ten times over!

So in summary, you MUST analyse what you do, otherwise you will not learn anything from your experience. When you do analyse focus heavily on learning from the positive things, those things you did well and what made it a ‘good’ experience for you?

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2 thoughts on “Many people spend their lives trying to learn from their mistakes! Successful people focus on learning from what they did well!

  1. Hi Stuart, I agree entirely with your blog article. We seem to live in a culture of negativity (often media led) and frequently fail to look for the positives in setbacks and failures. There appears to be a post-Olympic groundswell in optimism and it’s important that businesses and society in general capitalising on it. In my humble opinion.

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