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The gift of mistakes

Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

The future is simply a set of possibilities. The past creates a set of probabilities. Mistakes are makers of a better future, if we are intentional about how we learn from them.

Consider: what is one failure that you’ve experienced already this year?

Practice: placing that failure right in front of you, whether written down, explained to another, or visualised

Decide to: dissect the moments leading up to, during, and after the moment of failure. Work out at what point you will make a different choice next time

Black box thinking.

In his book Black Box Thinking, journalist Matthew Syed makes the case that all paths to success run through failure[i]. Not only that, but we should also make an active point of learning from the mistakes of others because, as Matthew puts it, ‘you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.’ He encourages us to borrow from the aviation system of ‘black box’ reviews. His core premise is that detailed independent investigation of our everyday screw-ups can prevent recurrences just as black box flight data analysis has dramatically reduced the incidence of airplane crashes. If more data creates a better outcome, good evidence-based analysis in all areas of human behaviour should allow us to lift those blinders that prevent us from learning from our mistakes.

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