Learning from Problems




Yesterday’s post was a collection of a few quotes about problems and my reasons for having chosen them–why they helped me.

In light of this, I came across this blog post by Michael Hyatt about how to learn from problems and failures and I thought he made some great points and I thought you’d be interested in them, too.

Michael makes six points:

  1.  Acknowledge the Failure

This is important because too often we bang our heads against the wall continually trying to achieve results but always coming up short. We need to stop and take a look at the situation and admit that our way of doing it probably isn’t right.  We need to admit that maybe there’s a much more effective way of doing things.  Yes, we may have failed with these attempts to achieve our dreams, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up our dreams.  It just means that the way we’ve been doing things is not right for this dream at this time and in this place. Admit it isn’t working so step out of “the box” and out of our comfort zones and try something radically different.


  1. Take Full Responsibility

This one is a tough one. Our natural inclination is to look outside ourselves for the reason things aren’t working.  It’s a way of soothing the disappointment, worry, and anger we may be feeling.  It might be true that others didn’t hold up their end of the bargain and it may be true that events beyond our control created a bad situation.  But we can’t focus on that.  As Michael Hyatt points out, we don’t have control over others and we certainly can’t control events and situations. The only thing we can control is ourselves, particularly how we think and the actions we take as a result of that thinking.


  1. Mourn the Failure

To me, this is probably the most important aspect of processing problems and failures. Speaking for myself, I don’t always take the time to grieve about things not going the way I’d planned and things not at all working out even remotely close to the way I’d hoped. Without wallowing and getting stuck, we need to allow ourselves to think and feel our way through it.


  1. Learn from the Experience

I love Michael Hyatt’s take on this where he urges us to, instead of thinking about what went wrong which can lead down the path of blame, think about the problem and failure as what was missing. As Michael points out, thinking in terms of what was missing helps us look at our part in it–what we have control over–and starts us thinking about how we can improve next time around.


  1. Change Your Behavior

After processing problems and failures using this positive and constructive method, it becomes clearer how we can improve, including what we need to let go of and move on from.


  1. Enter Wholeheartedly into the Next Project

Following these steps will naturally cause our enthusiasm and energy to return. As we’re processing, grieving, and evaluating ourselves and the situation, we’ll naturally have new ideas and new inspirations.  Sometimes they’ll be things we’ve never thought of before–and that’s a very good thing!   Before we know it, our energy and enthusiasm will return.


The important thing is to allow yourself time to process and evaluate and feel. As Michael Hyatt shares about his experience, it can take weeks–sometimes longer–and it can’t be rushed.

You aren’t wasting time or losing ground by pausing to do these steps. In the long run, you’ll come out much stronger because of a deeper understanding and appreciation of yourself.

You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



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