In life, there are no failures, only outcomes, with some outcomes certainly more satisfying than others.
We can learn from both…but only if we choose to grow intellectually and emotionally in a principle- centered fashion.
Conversely, when we strive to avoid growth ( M. Scott Peck refers to this as the greatest sin – laziness – representing our refusal to grow toward our God-given potential ), we are choosing to repeat only that which we know to be comfortable, safe, and predicable.
Repeating old habits of thinking and functioning has value, but it can also deny us opportunities to change our paradigm which then catalyzes deeper understanding. Hence, repetition of old habits can in some ways be a form of neurosis – a dysfunctional controlling which limits new learning and growth.
As healthcare providers, the challenge lies in striking a balance between internalizing precise habits and remaining open to the fact that previous learnings may not remain optimally valid over time.
The simple truth is, if we are not failing on occasion, we are not trying hard enough to be successful. And that “success” and “failure” are not the two ends of a bi-polar scale, they are part of a natural cycle which is consistent with how we learn. Embracing this truth helps to frame this issue more accurately.
Paul A Henny DDS