Friday, March 6, 2009

The Importance of Failure - 100th Post

Well... this is my 100th post since creating a blog. It's been a long ride, from part time work at a fast food restaurant to now, working as a professional in a key Federal Government agency.

I've learnt and experienced many new things during this period of time and the blog has played a critical role in allowing me to reflect on those experiences. I guess in many respects, making my 100th post on the topic of failure is perhaps interesting yet suitable.

As an individual, I've always been highly confident of my abilities to achieve things that I set my mind to. My determination (or stubbornness) and my attention to detail have never failed me. Yet today, something happened that should not have. I messed up the structure of my part of a presentation and made a gaffe in front of a group of key individuals.

This have made me reflect deeply about why it has occurred because presenting has always been my forte. After much thought and agony, I have come to realise that I took my abilities for granted and that they can only shine when I use them in unison. Due to my past positive experiences with presenting, my confidence rose to a level that I felt I could present without sufficient preparation. And what a wake up call it was. My pride, ego, misplaced confidence certainly took a major hit.

In the past, I've always made sure I clearly understood the material I am presenting and wrote them down in a logical and clear manner so I can follow it clearly when presenting. And I have always rehearsed at least once or twice. Today, I did little of this and I stuffed up.

However, my gaffe has made me realise the importance of failure. While I absolutely love the feeling of victory, failure are just equally important provided I view them as a lesson rather than a mistake. In particular, if the failure is a technical failure not an inherent failure.

Failure is inevitable in our lives. Failure is not something that I am accustomed to, whether it be big things or small things. But I have come to realise that failure is important because it can teach me new things and reinforce what I know but have come grown used to. By failing, I am in many ways succeeding. Of course this could be me rationalising but I do believe what I have said to a good degree. By failing, we can prevent other failures through learning.

To a lighter side of things, here some of pictures of me in my new home in the capital of Australia, Canberra. The stuffed toys are my war spoils in Canberra's Royal Show. They're a testament to my ability to shoot stars and water pistols haha!