In this good piece by James Clear, he talks about three ways we fail and how we can fix it. The three types of failure are:
.. a Failure of Tactics. These are HOW mistakes. They occur when you fail to build robust systems, forget to measure carefully, and get lazy with the details. A Failure of Tactics is a failure to execute on a good plan and a clear vision.
… Failure of Strategy. These are WHAT mistakes. They occur when you follow a strategy that fails to deliver the results you want. You can know why you do the things you do and you can know how to do the work, but still choose the wrong what to make it happen.
…Failure of Vision. These are WHY mistakes. They occur when you don’t set a clear direction for yourself, follow a vision that doesn’t fulfill you, or otherwise fail to understand why you do the things you do.
Really good piece. I recommend it as something you schedule yourself to read at least once a year to help you do better both at work and elsewhere.
In the piece he doesn’t focus on failure of opportunity, but it is huge. For people living in the right place and born into the right segment of society, success is much easier because opportunities abound. Sometimes you can change that (e.g. emigrate) and sometimes you cannot.
Despite that, read the piece and reflect on how you can address the things that cause you to fail.
Ok, work doesn’t always suck, and sometimes it can be really great. But it sucks more often than it should. If you wonder why, these links can help you gain some perspective and insight.
- Why Workers Are Losing to Capitalists – Bloomberg– Not promising
- How to Maintain Your Sanity (and Be Productive) When You Work Alone • Jocelyn K. Glei– Those who work at home, take note.
- Meet the Developer Who Made Games for Three Years While Living on the Streets – Motherboard – If you feel you need motivation in a difficult work situation, read this
- Motivation is Overvalued. Environment Often Matters More. | James Clear – on the other hand, there’s this.
- Pocket: I Quit My Job to Live in a Tent and Write Code – more on working in difficult situations.
- The pursuit of loneliness: how I chose a life of solitude | Society | The Guardian– more for those who would rather work and be alone
- You Probably Need a Public Portfolio Even If You’re Not a Freelancer or a “Creative”– good advice, especially for people that think they need no such thing.
- I’m Ira Glass, Host of This American Life, and This Is How I Work – Glass provides some inspiration here.
- Can a company innovate without working its employees to death? – The Washington Post– You would HOPE so.
- A cycle of exploitation: How restaurants get cooks to work 12-hour days for minimum wage (or less) – The Globe and Mail– depressing but essential reading.
- The Simple Technique To Fit A 40-Hour Workweek Into 16. | Fast Company– and here is the opposite extreme.
- I worked in a video store for 25 years. Here’s what I learned as my industry died. – Vox– good insight for those in a threatened industry.
- Working with the Chaos Monkey– help for those dealing with chaos monkeys (I have recently).
- The secret to success: take risks, work hard, and get luck– obvs.
- The Shame of Work – New Rambler Review– hmmm.
- Final Frame: Office Propaganda | Apartment Therapy – Finally, a light link after all that.
(Image from the last link)
I’ve seen the squiggly versus straight line path to success in many places. It’s a great concept, and a handy reminder to keep close when things seem in a muddle and you wonder if you will ever progress. It’s also a good reminder to keep a log of your progress. A log will remind you that you are succeed, despite those bewildering times when things seem like you are getting nowhere fast.
I admire the work that Elon Musk does, be it Tesla, Space X, or other endeavours he takes on. I also had an opinion that the success he achieves is as close to a Given as success can be. I held that option until I read this article: Elon Musk Had a Deal to Sell Tesla to Google in 2013 – Bloomberg Business. This article shows just how touch and go it was for Musk and Tesla in 2013. Among other thoughts, it reinforced in me the notion that success in challenging areas is difficult for everyone, whether it be Elon Musk or anyone.
If you are trying to accomplish something difficult, and if you think that others have it easier than you, I recommend you read this article. I also recommend it to anyone who needs to be reminded that success is never a given, but with the right effort and focus and dedication, even the most challenging type of work can be accomplished.