We might appear successful and happy in our well-paying 9 to 5 job, but actually feel miserable on the inside because the work might not align with our purpose, passions, and values. Then we go through a quarter-life crisis trying to find ourselves and what makes us truly happy.
But crises of any kind are no fun. Luckily Warren Buffett's right-hand man, Charlie Munger, has better words of wisdom regarding success and happiness. In an interview with CNBC, he said the secret to a long, happy, rich, and successful life is one's ability to admit failure.
Failing sucks. Admitting that we have failed sucks even more. But if it means happiness and success for the long-run, it is well worth the discomfort. Here are my best tips on how to fail your way to success:
Take more risks.
If you don't take risks, you can't fail. And if you don't fail, you can't practice learning from and admitting your failures. Taking more risks will also strengthen your courage muscle and boost your confidence.
Have a risky idea you've been meaning to try? Figure out the first step and take it. Make that call. Send that email draft. Publish that article. Book that appointment.
Own your mistakes.
Let's say you messed up. It's bad. You have two choices: Either take a deep breath and tell the other person you messed up, or wait for the other person to confront you.
Both of these choices sound unpleasant, but one of them shows greater maturity and leadership. You know which one. Choose the harder decision every single time.
Deflection is a defense technique used to avoid talking about the main issue by quickly changing the topic or blaming someone or something else. The opposite of deflecting would be to shut up and listen, acknowledge, and apologize for the mistake, and do what you can to make things right.
Thanks to an amazing boss and mentor in my early career, I understood that I needed to learn how to not deflect. A quick Google search of 'how to not deflect' wasn't particularly helpful, but at least I figured out what it means to deflect.
Share the good, bad, and ugly.
Every year I publish a "Robbie's good, bad, and ugly" article. And every year, without fail, I get a lot of great comments, publicly and privately, about how much people appreciate the honesty.
Society and social media make us do crazy things. We mostly only share the perfect moments of our imperfect lives with others who are also doing the same. Some people even fake their perfection.
Don't be a faker. Keep your posts real by sharing your failures and setbacks too. It will help inspire both you and your followers in an authentic way.
Keep a 'failure' list.
Most people list out their successes and other positive achievements on their resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, etc. I'm a big fan of talking about some of your failures and what you've done to overcome the. Even a private list of your major and minor failures are proof that you're human and you're open to sharing your story to help others. It'll help you reframe your failures and feel more comfortable talking about them with other people.
Remember, failures are successes in disguise. It's up to you to either use them to your advantage or let them hold you back.