Failure is Feedback

In exactly a week, it will be the start of another new month, and social media will be agog with motivational messages – ‘keep pushing’, ‘keep going’, ‘don’t give up’. Sometimes, I fall for it too. But, we must pause and think.
Stop pushing may just be more appropriate in certain circumstances.
Here are a few examples:

  •  A business idea that has refused to finally take off after several years of labour and love; maybe because what you’re so intent on selling no one is intent on buying. Huh?!
  • A career you have chosen, but has refused to choose you; maybe because the required skill set and temperament don’t just align with your natural abilities, leading to quite a bit of struggle. Hmmm!
  • A dating relationship that’s not working, maybe even degenerated into physical/ emotional abuse, or simply not progressing. Hmmm!
  • A failed or failing project of any sort.

Identifying early on in the life of any project that it’s in fact not viable should be thought of as success, rather than failure. In fact this success is in the realm of wisdom. You could save yourself huge amounts of time, money and emotional turmoil, by recognising that a project is not viable early on. That’s easy you’ll say! What if there were no signs early on and you’ve already committed time, money, and every other resource. Only for the Project to fail? Well, there’s an Igbo proverb that says when each person wakes up is when his morning dawns. The moment you realise, the same steps are required. Assess the situation with as little emotion as possible, take the feedback and let it lead you to your next best move, then don’t forget to advise the relevant people and also archive the lessons learnt, so that you can make better decisions next time.
What we many times call failure is really feedback a.k.a lessons learnt in Project Management parlance. Every seeming failure is trying to tell you something. Listen intently. The quicker you deal with ‘failure’ and move on, the quicker you can arrive at ‘success’.
In effect, don’t keep pushing, until you determine you should in fact be pushing. 


Happy new month in advance Fam! (what am I thinking? It’s still one full week ahead….Jeeez! *shaking head*). May God keep us all!

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