Grant Graves Redefines Failure

My friend Grant W Graves has published a very interesting piece about Redefining Failure, a topic he came to think a bit more deeply about as a result of a discussion he was involved in at a TEDx Manhattan Beach salon event.

“I think we need to redefine failure and change what it means for people. I would suggest that failure is not negative at all. If you are going to change or try to do anything new, it is impossible without failure. In fact, you often learn more from failure than you do from your successes when you are trying to innovate or make changes.”

Grant’s post is quite thoughtful, and although his conclusions target actions for divers and dive instructors, the essence applies to all aspects of productivity: in order to know success, we need to understand failure.

Reminds me of an old Okinawan (karate) saying: nana korobi, ya oki, which translates as something like “fall down seven times, stand up eight”.

From a personal productivity point of view, I find it easy to get distracted sometimes. Sometimes I don’t review my lists, and I don’t achieve Inbox Zero on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean I give up. I double down, learn from what went wrong, and do better next time.

I’m going to stop writing now, and head out for a swim. I’ve learned that if I don’t get to the pool at the right time, it gets crowded. Especially on a beautiful Summer weekday.

Read Redefining Failure by Grant W Graves


Photography enthusiastic, writer, hiker and diving geek from Canberra (and Sydney), Australia. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

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