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Learning from Failure

  • By Gene Chorba
  • May 29, 2019

We assume that success is a natural state in life. However, failure is inevitable. Failure is not the end. Failure is a step in the process of learning. The lesson is to not repeat the mistakes that lead to failure.

 

One of my favorite things to do is participate in hackathons. Hackathons are super condensed coding competitions in which you have a limited amount of time during which you are asked to build a product that goes adheres to the theme of the competition. I enjoy these events because it gives me a chance to stretch my creative muscles and fail, over and over again, in a safe space.

 

These events have led to success, but I’ve also experienced massive failures that helped me grow. During an event I attended years ago I failed hard. I walked away from the competition without even completing a working prototype. The team fell apart due to infighting, and we didn't have the equipment we needed to pull off our idea. We even misread the theme of the event and slept through judging.

 

With everything that went wrong you may think I have bad memories of the event, but it was actually a source of one of my fondest hackathon memories. Without those failures I would not have learned some key lessons about leadership, preparedness, time management, team building and more. These lessons define me as an individual.

 

Failure has been a reliable instructor. I have learned numerous lessons from failure, and I would like to share some with you. Hopefully you can use these lessons to learn from my mistakes, and maybe even find value in your own failures.

 

  • Sometimes you promise to deliver something, and cannot. Be honest with yourself, and your team.

    • Do not make excuses for your failure. Own it, and embrace the fact that you failed. The first step to learning from your failure is acknowledging that you failed.

  • It is easy to move on after a mistake and not reflect. Understand what caused the failure

    • Work backwards and document every decision that was made in the runup to the failure. Where did it go wrong? How did it go wrong?

  • Your first attempt at solving a problem might not always be the best plan for doing so. Change your approach

    • Learn to take your time vs acting fast

    • Rely more on others

    • Adapt to situations and roll with it

 

I hope that these examples resonate with you and provide some help. Remember that tomorrow is another day. Do not let your failures bring you down, use them to build your future.

 

If you have any questions or suggestions for future blogs feel free to reach out at twitter.com/RiotGamesAPI