Useful mental model for navigating failure

October 9, 2017

Failure. It’s such a huge blanket word. It’s a big concept that can stop you from seeing the truth of a situation.

When facing failure I’ve struggled to understand the nuances of when to stop and when to continue.

There have been times in my life where persistence was rewarded with massive upside.

For example- I used to be extremely socially awkward and struggled to connect with people and make friends. It took me about three years of persisting and pushing through my limitations to come out victorious on the other side.

Then there have been times where persistence just brought more pain and confusion. I’ve struggled to develop a mental model to help me navigate through failure and have had this question in the back of my mind as I’ve read books, listened to podcasts and chatted with different people.

Until recently I haven’t been satisfied with what I read or heard. Advice like “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” didn’t seem to cut it. Then I read a great article from James Clear. It was the answer to my question. He says there are three types of failure.

Failure of Vision. Failure of Strategy. Failure of Tactics. Bam! So clear and easy to understand. Top article, well worth the read as he goes into detail with examples and how to overcome each type of failure. You can read the full article here.

David Pita is an artist and writer and consults as a web designer and conversion copywriter. His writing explores how to thrive and succeed as a human and his art is an expression of vibrant joy.

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