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The crispy cripple

Over at Passionate Giving, Richard is discussing how attitudes to ‘no’ can really get you down. He says:

Did you know that the ratio of ideas to a single successful product introduction is 1200 to 1?  You could look at the pursuit of those 1199 ideas as things that failed.  OR, you could see that the truth is that each time you go out to try something, you are learning more and more about (a) what not to do, and (b) what you should do. Success is always preceded by failure.

This really helped.  When I started thinking about how my attempts to do something, which would often end in failure, were really stepping stones to success, I was able to try more things, brush off failure and focus properly.

I relate to Richard’s words when he says getting it wrong can get you down and agree with him that simply reconsidering the problem with an objective eye creates a learning opportunity.

This reframing is something I have to force myself to do. While it’s a cliche, I am more likely to think the glass is half empty. I was confronted by this recently when I went to view a unit with a dear friend who, due to a form of muscular dystrophy, has to use a wheelchair to get around. Was the unit bigger than his present home – absolutely. Was it better equipped for safety in the bathroom and the laundry – you bet. What was my first thought? A negative one. The unit can only be accessed via a lift.

‘What if there’s a power failure, or worse, a fire?’

Unphased he replied:

I’ll be a crispy cripple.’

On reflection, the odds of him falling in his present unit were far higher than a fire breaking out in a concrete building constructed in the last 12 months.

So my take on Richard’s advice – ‘success is always preceded by failure’ – is that a possibly bad situation never looks that bad when placed next to an even worse one!