For the last two years I’ve being thinking and writing about failure. I’ve taken a hard look at my failures and tried to come up with a way to work them out and to learn from them.
I read few key self-help books and I conducted an experiment to see if I could change my life over a year and be more successful. What I discovered is that you need to stop looking for failure to lead you to success. I also learned a lot about success and systems and goals and much, much more.
Here are 4 books that helped me along the way:
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure — By Tim Harford
When faced with complex situations, we have all become accustomed to looking to our leaders to set out a plan of action and blaze a path to success. Harford argues that today’s challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinion; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt.Deftly weaving together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics, along with the compelling story of hard-won lessons learned in the field, Harford makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial and error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty, and financial crises―as well as in fostering innovation and creativity in our business and personal lives.
Taking us from corporate boardrooms to the deserts of Iraq, Adapt clearly explains the necessary ingredients for turning failure into success. It is a breakthrough handbook for surviving―and prospering― in our complex and ever-shifting world.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life — By Scott Adams
Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met or anyone you’ve even heard of. So how did he go from hapless office worker and serial failure to the creator of Dilbert, one of the world’s most famous syndicated comic strips, in just a few years? In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Adams shares the game plan he’s followed since he was a teen: invite failure in, embrace it, then pick its pocket.
No career guide can offer advice that works for everyone. As Adams explains, your best bet is to study the ways of others who made it big and try to glean some tricks and strategies that make sense for you. Adams pulls back the covers on his own unusual life and shares how he turned one failure after another — including his corporate career, his inventions, his investments, and his two restaurants — into something good and lasting. There’s a lot to learn from his personal story, and a lot of entertainment along the way. Adams discovered some unlikely truths that helped to propel him forward. For instance:
• Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
• “Passion” is bull. What you need is personal energy.
• A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.
• You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.
Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. Maxwell
Are some people born to achieve anything they want while others struggle? Call them lucky, blessed, or possessors of the Midas touch. What is the real reason for their success? Is it family background, wealth, greater opportunities, high morals, an easy childhood?
Most people are never prepared to deal with failure. Maxwell says that if you are like him, coming out of school, you feared it, misunderstood it, and ran away from it. But Maxwell has learned to make failure his friend, and he can teach you to do the same.”I want to help you learn how to confidently look the prospect of failure in the eye and move forward anyway,” says Maxwell. “Because in life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with them. Stop failing backward and start failing forward.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success -by Carol S. Dweck
After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset — those who believe that abilities are fixed — are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset — those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.
In this edition, Dweck offers new insights into her now famous and broadly embraced concept. She introduces a phenomenon she calls false growth mindset and guides people toward adopting a deeper, truer growth mindset. She also expands the mindset concept beyond the individual, applying it to the cultures of groups and organizations. With the right mindset, you can motivate those you lead, teach, and love — to transform their lives and your own.
The Value of Failure — by Shane Lester
The Value of Failure will help you embrace failure and learn from it.
The Value of Failure is an unconventional book that will give you insights into the nature of failure and help you learn how to pivot your life back on track.
Failure is inevitable, success is contingent upon your perceptions, actions and recovery from failure.
This book is an unconventional look at success and failure. Shane Lester is not a bestselling author, nor is this book endorsed by anyone important. Instead the author is going to tell you the truth about failure. And from that truth you can choose your definition of success. “This book isn’t 80 percent filler. I’m only writing what matters.”
After you fail it matters what you think, feel and do about your current state. All of these are definable if you know how to intellectually and emotionally process a failure event.
When you consider Lester’s insights you will be able to answer these questions for yourself:
•Why is setting goals the best way to fail?
•Have you ever wondered why the successful gloss over their failures?
•How can you fail with grace?
•Can you fail your way to success?
•What should you learn from your failures?
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What books have inspired you? Share in the comments box.