專注在害怕失敗

By Rick Boxx

在2000年,電視節目主持人和喜劇演員康納·奥布萊恩(Conan O’Brien)向他的母校,哈佛大學的畢業生演講,哈佛是屬於長春藤的名校。許多畢業演說都是談努力邁向成功,但他卻選擇談失敗。

奥布萊恩向那些人談到進入真正的工作世界,「身為哈佛的畢業生,你們最大的負債在於你們需要成功。」很有趣的觀點--需要成功是一項負債而不是資產。然後他詳細解釋。

奥布萊恩說:「成功非常像是一套白色的燕尾禮服,當你得到它時,覺得很棒,但接著你就非常害怕把它弄髒、弄壞。」在演講最後,他勸告那些大學畢業生:「有時摔倒,弄亂,弄壞某些事物。然後請記得,故事絕不會結束。」

如康納所觀察,失敗是生活的一部份。不需要害怕它,或極度地試著避開它,我們反而應該從它學習功課並擁抱它,了解失敗是我們最大的老師之一。若你為人父母,你就非常了解這一點。當一個小孩在學走路時,需要踏出第一個非常不穩定的步伐。然後在試著走另一步--而通常會跌倒。在小孩精通行走的重要技巧前,通常都要跌倒許多次。而即使為人父母,想要為兒女好,有時還是會失敗。但我們能從錯誤中學習,失敗還是值得的。

這原則也可以用在我們開始學騎腳踏車。在我們學到如何平衡之前,我們也摔倒多次。我們可能甚至還曾撞車。但我們還是繼續嘗試,直到我們終於能端坐地用一個新的、更快的方式旅行。

在生活中的每個領域,失敗都是一位卓越的老師,從學習駕駛汽車,到作一次銷售說明,或準備發表第一次的公開演講。重點是不要專注在失敗的可能性,而是做出第一次的嘗試,若結果不如預期,就重新來過。

每位領袖和經理人,若他/她是誠實的,會承認在他們學習把工作做好的過程中,曾經犯錯和失敗。而且有智慧的領袖會給屬下失敗的自由,知道人類一些最偉大的成功是藉著失敗成就的。如諺語提醒我們:「若你一開始沒有成功,嘗試,再嘗試。」

新約聖經中清楚地說出這個事實:「原來我們在許多事上都有過失;若有人在話語上沒有過失,他就是完全人」(雅各書3章2節)。在這卷書的前面一點,我們發現這條令人驚訝的命令:「我的弟兄們,你們落在百般試煉中,都要以為大喜樂」(雅各書1章2節)。以喜樂面對試煉、患難和逆境?接下來的兩節經文告訴我們為什麼:「因為知道你們的信心經過試驗,就生忍耐。但忍耐也當成功,使你們成全、完備,毫無缺欠」(雅各書1章3-4節)。

當我們遭遇失敗,我們必須堅忍,不放棄,就會帶來成功,當我們達成時,那將更有收穫。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思 的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。

省思 / 討論題目
「你們最大的負債在於你們需要成功。」你對這句話有何看法?你或你認識某人強烈地需要成功嗎?這個需要如何同時是一項有利之處--和不利之處? 「失敗是一位卓越的老師。」你同意這句話嗎?若同意,為何這句話在生活的許多領域都是真的? 然而,為何我們不一定都能從失敗中學到功課? 在你看來,失敗和堅忍的關係是什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:箴言12章1節,13章8節,15章10節;路加福音14章28-29節;羅馬書5章3-5節;腓立比書3章12-14節

FOCUSED ON FEAR OF FAILURE
By Rick Boxx

In 2000, TV host, comedian and entertainer Conan O’Brien spoke to graduates at his alma mater, Harvard University, the distinguished Ivy League institution. While many commencement addresses focus on striving for success, he elected to focus on failure.

O”Brien told the young people about to enter the real world of work, “As graduates of Harvard, your biggest liability is your need to succeed.” An interesting observation – the need to succeed being a liability, rather than an asset. Then he elaborated.

"Success is a lot like a bright, white tuxedo,” O”Brien stated. “You feel terrific when you get it, but then you are desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it in any way." He closed his talk by exhorting the college graduates, "Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally. And remember that the story is never over."

As Conan observed, failure is a part of life. Rather than fearing it and desperately trying to avoid it, we should learn from it and embrace it, recognizing that failure can be one of our greatest teachers. If you are a parent, you understand this well. When a child is learning to walk, it takes an initial, very unsteady step. Then it tries another step – and usually falls. Before the child masters the important skill of walking, it falls many times. And even in parenting, we sometimes fail despite our best intentions. But if we learn from our mistakes, moments of failure are worthwhile.

The same principle was true when we initially tried to ride a bicycle. Until we learned how to balance properly, we fell on our bikes. We might even have crashed. But we kept trying until finally we could remain upright and almost instantly discovered a new, faster way of traveling.

Failure is an excellent instructor for every area of life, ranging from learning to drive a car to making a sales presentation to preparing to give a first public speech. The issue is to not focus on the possibility of failing, but rather to make an initial attempt and, if it does not turn out as well as we hoped, start over.

Every leader and manager, if he or she is honest, will admit to making mistakes – and failing – during the course of learning how to do their jobs well. And the wise leader gives subordinates the freedom to fail, recognizing some of the greatest successes of mankind have been achieved through failure. As the adage reminds us, “If at first you do not succeed, try, try again.”

The Bible”s New Testament makes this reality clear: "For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man" (James 3:2). Earlier in the same book we find the surprising command to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). Facing trials, difficulties and adversity with joy? The next two verses tell why: “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3-4).

When we encounter failure, we must persevere and not quit. That will make success, when we achieve it, that much more rewarding.

Copyright 2014, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What do you think of the statement, “Your biggest liability is your need to succeed”? Do you have an intense need to succeed, or know of someone that does? How can this be both an advantage – and a disadvantage? The statement is made, “Failure can be an excellent instructor.” Do you agree with this? If so, why do you think this can be true in many areas of life? Why is it, however, that we do not always learn from failure? In your mind, what is the relationship between failure and perseverance?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:1, 13:8, 115:10; Luke 14:28-29; Romans 5:3-5; Philippians 3:12-14

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