Today Pastor Freed offered some time proven advice in his blog Jack’s Winning Words – “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” (Palmer’s Teacher’s Manual-1840)
Thomas H. Palmer (1782 – 1861) published his manual for teachers in 1840 and it served as a good guide for teachers for many years.
One needs however to temper Palmers advice with that this bit of more modern advice that has been widely credited to Albert Einstein – “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
So, it is good advice not to give up on something, just because you failed initially; however it is also good advice to give the situation enough thought that you don’t continue to do the same thing over and over and expect the outcome to be different. You have to learn from your mistakes at least what not to do again.
Other than tenacity and resolve, another good attribute to have in situations where one has failed at something is the ability to admit that failure and not try to blame it on others. There may well be times when some outside influence from a third person or some uncontrollable thing like the weather, contribute to a failure; however, even then, your failure to include the possibility of those influences is still just a factor in your own failure.
Failure isn’t necessarily bad, just disappointing. Failure is a key ingredient of learning. It as been well documented now often Thomas Edison failed at things before he finally succeeded in inventing something. Each time he failed, he learned from that experience and tried a different approach to the problems the next time.
Don’t give up today if you fail at something. Just take Palmer’s advice, and add a little insight from Einstein, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again, but try something different.”
Try, learn and try again. But, try something different.