Failures can teach people to think differently or break down completely, depending on the type of it. Successes may lead to over-relaxation when a person stops working actively in order to take pleasure in them. In contrast, causing pain and failures can stimulate work more actively and more productively, avoiding such mistakes. Still, it is necessary to extract lessons from short-term failures and avoid long-term ones; in other cases, success would become very hard to achieve.
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Successful Learning from Failures
When people fail, for example, in doing business or in the study, which are probably, the most common examples of modern failures, there can be different reactions to that. There is a concept of negative knowledge, which means the knowledge contradictory to a previous experience (Darabi et al., 2018). It is beneficial, as it shows past mistakes and is usually very deeply grounded, as failures are primarily painful and, thus, very well remembered.
Still, sometimes failures not only teach us nothing but even lead to a complete breakdown. Only relatively short-term loss can be beneficial, as it will lead, eventually, to long-term success (Darabi et al., 2018). If a failure is constant and prolonged, there would scarcely be any success at all: such hardships can lead to total demoralization and exhaustion. While a strong-willed person can still succeed from such a series of problems, becoming even more robust and stiffer, long-term failures are better to be avoided when possible.
Learning from Successes
To be happy and successful can also teach a lot, despite not in all cases. The productive and unproductive successes can be distinguished based on the long-term results of that success (Darabi et al., 2018). Productive ones provide tools and experience for future problem solving, facilitating further work and enabling to prosper in the future if a person is able to use those tools again in the proper context.
As one can conclude, we can really learn more from failures than from successes, but risks are higher, too. If a person can extract a lesson from mistakes, they will be very beneficial, showing how not to do and remember for a long while, while only productive successes work similarly. Along with that, constant failures can break a person down, killing any motivation to continue; only a powerful personality would persist in such conditions.
Darabi, A., Arrington, T. L., & Sayilir, E. (2018). Learning from failure: a meta-analysis of the empirical studies. Educational Technology Research and Development, 66(5), 1101–1118. Web.