Failure is Success
This might seem backwards, but in reality, failure is a key component of success. The problem is that throughout much of our schooling, we were taught to completely avoid failure, and thus, we remained in the ‘safe zone’… In other words, we focused on those things we knew we’d do great the first time because we didn’t want to get marked down. The problem with this mindset is that you will never fully exploit your potential because you will never push yourself. You will stay in that zone of safety because you know you can do that particular job well.
But consider this… will you get results from working out if you only lift weights that you can push up easily and you lift the same weight that you’ve been lifting the past 10 years? No, you will be stuck in mediocrity because you will never progress. However, if you overload your body and you lift until failure, THEN you will make significant progress as long as you don’t do too much and injure yourself. The same is true of programming. In your free time, when you don’t have to worry about your work being critiqued or graded, you need to work on projects that overload your current capabilities and involve you failing and then struggling. It’s the only way you will improve your skills. Thus, failure is a key component of success. You just have to have the correct perspective on failure. If people had the same attitude they have now as adults when they were babies, 3/4th of the population would still be crawling on the floor because most people would have been discouraged due to ‘failing’ and not walking perfectly on their first try. However, as a baby, you fell down and got back up and did the same thing over and over until you were able to do the task successfully. You must take this attitude with you in anything you do. School may teach you that failure is bad and you need to do things right the first time, but this is a highly limiting methodology and you should avoid thinking like that. Now there are critical moments when you MUST perform correctly, but in your free time, you should be failing because you are pushing your limits… Fall down over and over until you get it.