Every day 5000 couples get divorced. Another 15.000 couples break up. 600 businesses fail.
Alright, I totally made that up. I have no clue about the numbers. I only know that about 50% of couples get divorced and about 90% of businesses fail.
Still, we have to deal with failure on a daily basis. Sometimes even many times a day. And failure (or whatever you want to call it) is hard. Really hard. Be it the business that crashes and burns. The relationship that ends up in a big mess or the money you've just lost.
I really don't know why so many people want to convince us that we have to fail to get where we want to be in life. Don't they remember how terrible it was? How it crushed their hearts? Don't they remember the pain?
So if it's so painful and we all try to avoid it, why not skip the failing part and succeed right away? Let me give you an advice right here and right now. An advice you probably haven't heard in quite a while. Actually, I don't remember having read this anywhere else:
Succeed. Don't fail. Ever. Failure is not a necessity for success. Succeed right away.
I feel that all of the failure porn out there somehow encourages a lot of people to fail. To not try hard enough. To give up when it gets tough. People seem to leave early. When the shit hits the fan. But you know what.
You need to keep on going. Especially when it gets hard. Stuff that gets hard is usually stuff we care about. That we should take serious. Don't quit just because quitting and failing is currently a hip thing to do. Succeed instead.
Even though you should obviously not try to fail, the probability that you're going to fail is huge. Maybe 1 out of 100,000 people will succeed right away. I don't know.
So if we're all likely to fail many times how can we deal with failure? How can we get over it all? How can we get out of that deep hole?
The answer is that you need to become a failure machine. You need to be able to become some sort of machine. A machine has a process and knows exactly what to do. What to do next. And I'm not saying that you should suppress all of your emotions. Not at all.
You should just try to make sure that failure doesn't get you down. That you don't stay down there forever. Or give up. Forever. You need to make sure that you're able to get back up again.
Because most people stay down there. Forever. They just give up. They quit. Forever. They never want to meet anyone ever again. They don't want to work on another idea. They just settle for a boring life. A mediocre life. Or whatever.
# HAVE ONE THING THAT WORKS
Make sure that you have at least one thing in your life that you like. That makes you happy. That's essential. Be it your bf/gf, business, hobby or whatever. Because whatever your new thing is, it will probably not work out. At least not right away. It'll take a hell lot of time.
It will be devastating and get you down. Over and over again. So you need to make sure that you have something or someone in your life that helps you get up every single time. That makes you happy. And feel fulfilled. And most importantly don't try to ignore this one thing.
I don't know why but that's what we humans tend to do. We tend to want to get more and more of the stuff that gets us down. Like working more and more hours at a job we don't like. Like staying in bad relationships longer than we want to and so on.
# MAKE FAILURE PART OF YOUR DAY
Try to include failure in your daily life. Try out three new things every day. Maybe you try a new dish or a new restaurant and you don't like it. Or you like it, who knows. Or you post an update on Facebook that embarrasses you and see what happens. Or ask your secret crush out for a date. It doesn't matter.
I once read a book where a woman said that when she was a kid, her dad used to ask her at the end of the day what she failed at. I think this is brilliant. That way, she grew up with failure being something totally normal.
Instead of asking what did you do today, which leads to enforce busyness from an early age as something good, her dad asked her what she failed at. Failure, experimenting and doing new things sort of became the most important things in her life (instead of busyness).
Why not implement this in your daily life? I'm sure this would help to de-stigmatize failure. Even, no especially among adults. Why not make a failure list. Or tell your bf/gf/spouse or whatever that they should replace the question “how was your day” or “what did you do today” with “what did you fail at today”.
Make a list where you list all of the things you failed at. But don't list the things you didn't do. This will only get you down. You'll feel bad about the things that you didn't do.
Instead, at the end of the day write down (or talk about) all of the things you did do and failed at.
# DON'T PROTECT
Don't try to protect your ideas, your money, your bf/gf, your kids or whatever. What's going to happen is that you will unconsciously create a scarcity mindset. A mindset where you need to protect everything you have because you believe that there is only one good idea or whatever.
What usually happens, if you're for example too clingy or too protective is that either your bf/gf will leave you or that you will never ever have any other idea again.
When you don't share your ideas with others and try to protect them, they will take over your brain's entire bandwidth. You won't be able to think about anything else anymore. So stop being too protective, get your ideas out there, get feedback and come up with new ideas. All the time.
At one point you'll become an idea machine, which will ultimately help you on your path to a failure machine. This will be your path to success. Or not. I don't know. But it definitely pays off to not protect your ideas.
Just like I don't protect this idea. I get it out there. Out of my system. As fast as possible. If no one likes it, I don't care. I have at least 5 more ideas just in this single post alone. And another few hundreds on my notepads.
# EXECUTE BAD IDEAS
Don't wait for that perfect idea. The perfect idea might never come. What's a perfect idea anyway? Many people I talk to tell me that they don't have a good idea. That's BS. There is no good or bad idea.
What really matters is the execution. How you turn your idea into reality. And that essentially boils down to the last point. You need to become an idea machine. Because execution is just about having ideas on how to get your idea out there.
So every time someone asks me whether or not this is a good idea, I know that this will never work out. Because what you're doing is that you're creating artificial scarcity in your brain. There isn't just one good or bad idea. Good or bad it doesn't matter. The ideas that come afterwards matter. The ideas on how to execute matter.
So instead, start executing what you believe are bad ideas. Ideas you don't really care so much about. If they fail, you won't be devastated. And the good thing about it is that you'll not only get used to failure little by little, you'll also get better at executing.
You'll get better at bringing ideas to the market, finding customers, talking to investors, selling your product and so on. Those are the only skills you need. Being able to build a product is not the challenge anymore these days. But everything else is.
Another cool thing right there. If you're able to pull off a bad idea, imagine what you might be capable of doing when your big idea shows up? Actually, at the end of the day what matters is to come up with new ideas over and over again.
Ideas that will create businesses, products, save people's lives and change the world.
# GO ON BAD DATES
Same with meeting the girl/men of your dreams. If you've spend your entire life waiting for the one, then you won't know how to deal with the opposite sex. You won't know how to approach him or her. And you'll end up missing your one big shot.
# DON'T OUTSOURCE YOUR FAILURE
There are so many things you can outsource these days. These days you can outsource pretty much everything. Coding, developing, decision making, strategy, knowledge, having a clue and so on. You end up coordinating people, while you don't do anything yourself anymore.
Which means that you won't be the one to blame. You'll have dozens of other people to blame if something goes wrong. The supplier, the developer, the consultant, your kids, your wife or what not. You simply outsourced your failure.
And then you'll never learn anything. You'll stay stupid. Forever. But most importantly when the shit hits the fan and on one of these rare occassions you're really the one to blame, you won't know how to deal with it, freak out and might never get back up again.
# FIND YOUR UNIQUENESS
At the end of the day it's all about finding what your passionate about. And then become good at it. Become a master. And being able to go from one failure to the other without giving up is the only way to find your uniqueness, if you haven't yet.
Unfortunately, most of us won't find it right away. And it'll take many, many tries until we do. Unfortunately, for most of us this includes having to deal with failure. I know, some found their uniqueness right away. I didn't. And I'm still searching.
And becoming a failure machine helped me to deal with it, sort of..
Every failure teaches us a lesson. And if the only lesson you'll learn about failure is that when one door closes, another one opens (actually many open), you'll be good for life. This is the ultimate lesson to becoming a failure machine. You won't need to understand and implement more than this one lesson. That's it.
You need to stay curious all the time. Whenever you're too focused on one thing, you usually lose sight of the whole. You don't see the obvious anymore. You don't see that you're about to tank your business, about to lose a lot of money on the stock market or about to lose your wife.
As soon as your mind gets too busy thinking about the same things over and over again, you'll brain-block yourself. And the only way to make sure that this doesn't happen is to listen to people. Listen to what they say. And then ask questions.
Stay curious. Try to learn something from everyone you meet. And if you don't learn anything from them, never meet them again. If you don't listen you will never come up with new ideas. And then you'll never be able to become a failure machine. And then you'll never be able to change the world..
If you follow these things, you might have a chance to be among the 50% that stay together forever, or the 5% that succeed. Or maybe not. But at least you'll learn how to cope with failure a lot better and become a failure machine, which hopefully one day leads to what you deserve in this life..