If you want to succeed in life, there is an important mindset you need to have. Without it, it’s unlikely that you will make much progress. But with it, you can have a breakthrough. The mindset is this:
Failure is an option
It might seem simple, but this mindset can make a big difference in your life.
A while back I read an article about how Domino’s Pizza reinvented itself. In 2010, its stock price was only $8.76 per share. But then Patrick Doyle became CEO and started working to reinvent the company. Guess how much the stock price is now? It’s $170 per share! How is that possible? How could the company make such a progress?
One big reason is because Doyle has this mindset. For him, failure is an option.
He explains that there are two great ills called “omission bias” and “loss aversion”:
Omission bias is the tendency to worry more about doing something than not doing something, because everyone sees the results of a move gone bad, and few see the costs of moves not made. Loss aversion describes the tendency to play not to lose rather than play to win.
We all need to overcome these two ills. Why? Because they make us just stay in our comfort zone. They make us unwilling to try new things because we may fail and look bad in front of others.
To overcome them, you need to have the right mindset. The right mindset is this: failure is fine, so take risks and try new things. Having this mindset can change your life.
Here are three tips to put this mindset into action:
1. Know your options.
Before you can try something new, you need to know your options. You need to know what the possibilities are. So make sure that you stay informed. For this, you should read books, blogs, or listen to podcasts. Then when you find something interesting, take note of it.
After knowing your options, you need to experiment with them. My favorite way of doing this is to create side projects. This website, for instance, started as a side project of mine.
3. Learn and adjust.
Your side project could come out as a success or a failure. If it fails, then that’s fine; just regard it as a learning opportunity. Learn all you can from it and adjust yourself accordingly. If it succeeds, then you can commit more resources to it.
That’s what happened to me with this website. Life Optimizer (and its related projects) eventually becomes my full-time job. That wouldn’t happen if I didn’t experiment with it in the first place.
You need to take risks to make progress in your life. Yes, you could fail, but remember that you could succeed. The success will never come if you never try.
As a morning antidote I loved the points made here. Counting the cost of loss aversion is not a term/expression I’ve added to my arsenal of power moves. I’ll be sending this to my circle of friends!
I love your idea. Reminds me of a book by Richie Norton,
He gives a great idea of thinking in future self to find you best ideas. To go to 20 years in to the future and think “what are the things you regret not doing in the past?”
This opens you mind, and would help you to choose the best of your ideas.
And then jump with the idea of failure is an option.
That’s an interesting idea. I’ve never thought about it before. Thanks for sharing!
great post. just found your blog and really liking it!
Love that. “Failure is an option.”
Society will have you believe that to fail means that you aren’t successful. The moment that you change your perspective to believe that failure is, as you said, a learning opportunity is the moment that your life will change forever.
People say fear failure, I say embrace failure.
Be careful to make sure you take the lessons that come along with it though. If you don’t, then it may just be a true failure.
Well said, Joel. Thanks for sharing!
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