What are the most important lessons you could learn from your failures?

pchess1_1296750cWhen I was a child (10-12 years old), I loved to play chess, I passionately practiced with adults mainly with my uncle, and I believed that I have a good strategy to win every match.
Some month later I visited a chess competition, which I would like to win so badly. My first match was a patt, but then I lose two matches in a row, I have absolutely no chance to win, this was the reality. My willingness to win the competition was so far from the reality.

fireenamelSome years later  I started to learn special arts, I was working with fire enamel, which was very interesting for a small child. We was painting fire enamel pictures, which were very expensive at those days (we could never took the finished pieces to home). At the end of the semester some of the best pictures done during the half year, were sent to a competition. The selected arts were  awarded to an exhibition. My biggest surprise was, that one of my pictures were also selected. I never expected such a success at those years.

So what I learned from my failures in my childhood:

  • Failure is temporary 
  • Reality is not always what is in your mind
  • Success preceded by intense work
  • Be patient, do not hurry, you have plenty of time
  • Success comes when you least expect it (in sports there is a feeling called flow)

Some years later, when I was at University I like to be involved in research project, I love to writing research papers. One of the research that was initiated by the T-Systems (Europe) was to “find out” what will be the future of mobile (There were no iPhones at those days). I was really motivated, and started to write the research paper, I have a lot of ideas in this respect. I almost finished the paper, in two or three weeks, when my consultant professor first thoroughly reviewed the paper. Much to my astonishment he just throw out the paper into the trash, and asked me positively, to rewrite the paper. I felt terrible in those days, “a lot work gone into the trash”. However after another three weeks the paper (version 2) was ready, and I really liked it, I put a lot of explanation in and it was more illustrative than the first version. We issued the paper to the committee, and some month later it was elected the best paper by the T-Systems.

So what I learned during my University years:

  • Good quality work is not the result of a good idea, but rethinking of the idea
  • Accept all constructive critic
  • Think with others head, if you do not like what you do nobody will

A last thought: I do not like the cliché “Never give up”, I never saw a people who gave really up, people are always finding ways, but it takes time, and patience is an important factor. Remember fire is the most intense element, but the water makes the biggest changes on the earth.