Positive reflections on failure

Sri Chinmoy v meditaci
Image via Wikipedia

Innovation, learning, personal growth, and organizational excellence are all impossible to achieve without overcoming setbacks and obstacles along the way. Of course, these challenges make failure difficult to face and discuss.

Negative attitudes toward risk-taking, usually born of fear or arrogance, can interfere with our ability to learn from mistakes and adapt to adverse or changing conditions. Resistance to change and difficulty learning from failure are significant issues that drive many problems on IT programs of all kinds.

With that in mind, here are two poems that express a distinctly positive attitude toward failure. These poems were both written by Sri Chinmoy, an Indian spiritual teacher and artist who died in 2007.

NO FAILURE
No failure, no failure.
Failure is the shadow
Of success.
No failure, no failure.
Failure is the changing body
Of success.
No failure, no failure.
Failure is the fast approaching train
Of the greatest success.

FAILURE AND SUCCESS
Defeat
Is a bad failure.
Despair
Is a worse failure.
Not to try again
Is the worst failure.
Victory
Is a good success.
Progress
Is a better success.
Surrender
Is the best success.

LinkedIn Twitter
Well-known expert on why IT projects fail, CEO of Asuret, a Brookline, MA consultancy that uses specialized tools to measure and detect potential vulnerabilities in projects, programs, and initiatives. Also a popular and prolific blogger, writing the IT Project Failures blog for ZDNet.