Failure is Just Information

You've heard it over and over again: never give up. But when your brilliant idea finds few buyers, the cause you fought for appears doomed or your long term relationship is broken, walking away may be the best choice. Unfortunately, our society talks a good deal less about the merits of quitting than the promise that with enough effort we'll realize our most cherished desires.

If only it were that simple. How does one decide when to quit, though? This recent thought from a creative professional on the web site 99u helps:

But what if we didn’t think of success and failure as our only two outcomes of any idea? Instead, we would view quitting as making better use of our time elsewhere.

Binary choices, particularly binary choices about what we really value, mislead. When caution and the evidence would suggest a different course of action, thinking of rejection as information rather than failure can re-frame the pending decision in helpful ways.

I hope to see you this year at the IdeaFestival!

Stay curious™


Image: Some rights reserved by angermann