Learning From Failure 从失败中学习

Learning From Failure 从失败中学习

Why are so many people so afraid of failure? Quite simply because no one tells us how to fail so that failure becomes an experience that will lead to growth. We forget that failure is part of the human condition and that every person has the fight to fail.

为什么这么多人都害怕失败呢?原因很简单,从没有人告诉我们如何失败,以至于大家都认为失败是成长过程必须经历的。我们忘了,失败是人类生存条件的一部分,每个人都有与失败斗争的经历。

Most parents work hard at either preventing failure or protecting their children from the knowledge that they have failed. One way is to lower standards. A mother describes her child’s hastily made table as “Perfect”! Even though it wobbles on uneven legs. Another way is to shift blame, If John fails science, his teacher is unfair or stupid.

许多父母都努力工作,或许是为了避免失败,或许是为了不让自己的孩子知道他们曾经失败过。有一种办法是降低标准。一位母亲说自己孩子匆匆做成的桌子是“完美的”,哪怕这张桌子由于不均衡桌脚的支撑正摇摇欲坠。另一种办法是“嫁祸”,如果约翰考试没过,那他父母就会认为他的老师是不公平的或愚蠢的。

The trouble with failure-prevention devices that they leave a child unequipped for life in the real world. The young need to learn that no one can be best at everything, no one can win all the time—and that it’s possible to enjoy a game even when you don’t win. A child who’s not invited to a birthday party, who doesn’t make the honor roll or the baseball team, feels terrible, of course. But parents should not offer a quick consolation prize or say, “It doesn’t matter” because it does. The young should be allowed to experience disappointment—and be helped to master it.

这些防止失败的策略所带来的麻烦事,他们没能使孩子在这个真实的世界里做好独立生活的准备。年轻人需要知道,没有谁能在各方面都做到最好,没有谁总能获胜——即使你没有获胜,你也可以享受这场比赛。一个没有受到生日宴会邀请,没有上光荣榜或进入棒球队的孩子,必然会感到很沮丧。父母不应该给他们一个快速安慰奖励,或者是在事实上并不是没关系的情况下说“这都没关系的”。应该允许年轻人经历失望,并且让他们在帮助下学会控制它。

Failure is never pleasurable. It hurts adults and children alike. But it can make a positive contribution to your life once you learn to use it. Step one is to ask “Why did I fail?” Resist the natural impulse to blame someone else. Ask yourself what you did wrong, how you can improve. If someone else can help, don’t be shy about inquiring. Success, which encourages repetition of old behavior, is not nearly as good a teacher as failure. You can learn a lesson from a disastrous party how to give a good one, from an ill-chosen first house what to look for in a second. Even a failure that seems definitive can prompt fresh thinking, a change of direction. After 12 years of studying ballet a friend of mine auditioned for a professional company. She was turned down. “Would further training help?” she asked. The ballet master shook his head. “You will never be a dancer,” he said, “You haven’t the body for it.”

失败不可能使人愉快。它会伤害到成年人,同样也会伤害到孩子。但是,一旦你学会运用它,它就能对你的生活有积极的贡献。第一步是问:“为什么我会失败?”不要受到本性冲动的影响去责备别人。问问自己到底做错了什么,如何才能改进。如果有人帮助你,就不要羞于请教。成功,会激发人们重复自己的行为,根本不会比失败更让人受益良多。你可以从一场糟糕的宴会上学会如何办一场成功的宴会。从第一次失败的选房经历中学会如何寻找第二个。明确的失败甚至能够使人涌现出新的想法,改变方向。我的一个朋友在学了12年芭蕾舞之后去了一家专业公司进行面试。她被拒绝了。“我还需要进一步接受培训吗?”她问。芭蕾舞教练摇了摇头。“你不可能成为一名舞蹈演员,”他说,“你不是块跳芭蕾的材料。”

In such cases, the way to use failure is to take stock courageously, asking “What have I left? What else can I do?” My friend put away her toe shoes and moved into dance therapy, a field where she’s both competent and useful. Failure frees one to take risks because there’s less to lose. Often there’s a resurgence of energy—an awareness of new possibilities.

在这样的情况下,利用失败的方法是勇敢地进行自我总结,问问:“我还剩下什么?我还可以做什么?”我的朋友收好了她的芭蕾舞鞋,然后转而从事舞蹈治疗,这是一个对她来说很在行也很实用的领域。失败可以让人不必再去冒险,因为失败的人几乎没有什么再可以失去的了。通常,失败还会让人的精力复苏,认知到一些新的可能性。

失败,帮你否定了一条错的路,那摆在你面前的、通往成功的选择就又少了一项,成功几率又大了一成,难道不值得感恩吗?