How to move from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm
Having the endurance to stick it out and achieve your goals doesn’t take a great deal of suffering. It doesn’t even take that much work, discipline or will. All you have to do is one habitual act and you will never lose your enthusiasm through failure. That habitual act is to re-plan.
The habit of re-planning
You may have read stories of great leaders that have tried and tried again without ever giving up until they reached their dreams. You may read stories of Edison trying more than 3,000 times before perfecting the light bulb. It seems as if these people have a will of iron, or are strong, or it seems as if they are ruthless and unwavering, but they are “all and none” of those things.
The only consistent action that all of them did was to re-plan. They started with a plan and it didn’t work, so the next thing they did was go back to the drawing board and amend their plan. That is all they did; they hit a wall, so they backed up, changed their plan, and got over, around, under or through the wall. They didn’t sit in their lounge chair crying into their cognac before inspiration hit; they simply went back to their plan, changed it, and then carried on as normal.
Focus on what you can learn from your failures
Every step in your plan toward your goal should be littered with lessons. You can learn from what works and what doesn’t. Your failures all offer great opportunities to learn, and not just by the way of, “I should have done this or that.” They are also great ways to learn how far you will go, how hard you will try, where you are enabling failure, and what you are doing that undermines your effort.
Failures are also great areas where you may come up with new and innovative ideas. If you experience a setback of a failure and have nothing to learn, then you are missing the point. It is not simply about what you would do differently if you had your time over again; it is about what you are going to do in the future and how you are going to do it differently.
Ask yourself why your enthusiasm would wane
Are you really placing so much of your hopes and dreams on a single task? Why would you place that much into one single thing? If you were doing a jigsaw, you wouldn’t cry every time you failed to place a piece into the puzzle, you would simply pick up another piece and try again until you had finished.
Maybe your focus is a little too narrow. It should be on the end goal and not on the tasks that lead you to the end goal. Just because you have a setback, it doesn’t mean your end goal will not happen. A setback and/or a failure is just another way of learning what doesn’t work. You should be grateful that you discovered what doesn’t work so that you do not invest any more time into it.