Learning from Mistakes

Question: 

Do we learn more from finding out we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?

Gary's Answer: 

We learn much from our mistakes than we do from our successes. One reason is that we make so many more mistakes. The only real mistake is not learning from our mistakes.

In my training courses, I have used the phrase “you win some and you learn some” about a decade before the line appears in a popular song. I was always curious if the line came from my work by some circuitous route.

Another reason we learn more from our mistakes is that we feel our mistakes more keenly. We act on our feelings, not our thoughts. We will do more to avoid pain or feel pleasure than we will to satisfy our curiosity.

In real life, most successes are too small to be felt. Their effect on our lives is cumulative over time. Most large successes are only the eventual recognition of a lot of little progress over time. For most people, overnight success takes decades to achieve.

Our mistakes, however? We feel those right away, no matter how small they are. Their pain error is infinitely instructive.

Our strategy training system is built around encouraging people to make mistakes. We ask little questions before we give the lessons in our Warrior Class On-Line Training. We then ask the same question after the lesson. The point is to help students feel the progress they are making.