• Shagun Agarwal

Takeaways From The Book – Fail Fast, Fail Often

Updated: Oct 6, 2019


‘A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing’ - George Bernard Shaw

The author says that the times when we grow and accomplish the most are the times when we make the most mistakes. Hence, making mistakes coincides with making personal progress.

The author says that the more you will fail, the more you will live and the more you will deserve a wonderful life.

Look at the lives of successful people. He says that we always think that their success was easy and didn’t involve many trials and errors. But the truth, he says, is that most big successes and accomplishments come out from hundreds of consistent failures. He says that Starbucks become what it is today after a series of adjustments, experiments and revisions. But the only difference between these stories and the rest is that they give themselves permission to fail repeatedly again and again.

Andrew Stanton, the Director of wall-e and finding nemo says “my strategy has always been: be wrong as fast as we can. Which basically means, we’re going to screw up, let’s just admit that. Let’s not be afraid of that. But let’s do it as fast as we can so we can get to the answer. You can’t get to adulthood before you go through puberty. I won’t get it right the first time, but I will get it wrong really soon, really quickly’.

Once there was a standup comedian who was just standing to do the same professionally in the New York city. So, one day he went to a professional and experienced speaker and asked him for some tips and suggestions for starters. Louis CK replied:

I can’t help you at all. The only road to good show is bad ones. Just go start having a bad time and if you don’t give up you will get better, Emmy award, winning comedian, Louis CK.

The author in the book says that no one dies by making mistakes or by doing the wrong the wrong things. When people avoid failures, that becomes like a killer. Having fear of failures makes us lose out on opportunities for new growth opportunities. He says that people act in ways that guarantee failure to avoid failures.

The author suggest that we must do things like a beginner. This attitude brings many new perspective and not just being competent or incompetent at doing something. Doing things initially like a beginner makes you meet new people, learn new stuffs, have new perspectives and make new memories. He urges people to act like beginners who are eager to learn, curious, focus on learning not ultimate performance, don’t expect perfection from themselves, etc. He also suggests one to always be curious.

People who expose themselves to their curiosity and act upon that get a wide variety of experiences that lead to new and unexpected outcomes.

Successful people have a knack for performing poorly. They deliberately face challenges to see their limits and knowledge so they can encounter the unknown and learn from the experience. Do something that you have been wanting to do and give yourself the permission to perform badly at it.


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© 2019 by Shagun Agarwal

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