Don’t fail

A while back Ben Brooks set the record straight on the meaning of word failure.

Fail early, fail often?
No.
Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back from doing something you think you can do?
Yes.

Failure isn’t something to seek nor is making mistakes. These things happen because we attempt something new, we venture in areas unknown to us.
Mistakes happen because we haven’t understood the implications or we made errors of judgment.
These are important lessons and the critical element is the need to actually learn form them. But wearing failure as badge of honor is totally misplaced.

Who would like to work with someone who likes to fail or give steering wheel to someone that’s good at making mistakes?
Why even start with assumption of failure, it’s better to read a book or talk to someone who been there, done that. It can save a lot of time and effort.

There are the pivots, jumps, mistakes (non fatal) and these things are examples of reacting to changing environment. When you adjust the direction, respond to circumstances away from original plan this isn’t a failure. It’s being smart, responsible, adaptable. That’s how human species survived for thousands of years.

There should be no glory in failure nor there should be any shame.
It’s about learning really.

Text expansion and failure with Merlin Mann

5by5.tv podcast station is one of my favorite podcasting networks. Since they produce a lot very good content it’s not always possible to listen it all and keep up with all the shows. Last week I was catching up on two shows that were sitting in my queue both featured Merlin Mann who is a bit of a hero in the productivity sphere whether he accepts this title or not.

Lets start with Back to Work episode 108 was a great introduction to text expansion. If you haven’t heard about it before or you’ve heard about it before but don’t know where to go this episode is for you. Merlin’s advice is very simple every time you find yourself typing or accessing something more than two times set up a key phrase for that. Things that immediately spring to mind are signatures, email addresses, canned responses etc. Beyond that is launching common documents and websites. Merlin goes even further describing how he uses two three letter key phrases to search his gmail etc.

On Mac OS the default choice of software is Text Expander, on Windows there are few choices like TexterBreevy or my preffered tool PhraseExpress.

Second podcast worth listening to is Systematic where Merlin and Brett talk about failure and it’s place in the creation process. It’s a great conversation that goes in all kinds of directions and still gives a lot food for thought on failures that lead to success and seemingly perfect plans that end up as big flop  Do give it a go and think about your own failures and successes.