Be a Detective. This isn’t advice on a career path, but it certainly falls under career advice. We are taught many things when we are younger, and one such lesson is to analyze what went wrong in any given situation. This is good advice, and it is a good lesson to learn. Unfortunately, that is only half the lesson.
The other half of that lesson - to analyze when things go right as well.
Learning from our shortcomings, from our failures, from the times we stumble and fall just short of the finish line. These moments provide valuable lessons. But if you’re anything like me, you won’t fail all the time. You will have your moments in the sun. These moments need to be looked at just as hard, perhaps harder even. You need to analyse what does go right, and learn from those experiences.
What went right? Why did it go right? How did it go right? Ask questions. Find the answers. It could be as challengingly simple as surrounding yourself with the right people. (Yes, it sounds so simple, yet often is so difficult.) Maybe it was your plan, executing on it just a little bit each day. Or maybe it was taking that pause, considering the outcomes, thinking first and then acting with decisive movements. Success comes in many different forms, in as many different ways, but each success carries with it a valuable lesson, if you’re looking for it.
And don’t just look. Apply those lessons. We all know of people who seem to be in the zone constantly, people who have the magic touch, where everything they touch turns to gold. That is what happens when you figure out what you are doing right, and then doing more of it.
So analyze your failures, learn from your mistakes. A lesson learned will turn any complete and utter disaster into a minor victory, lessening the pain just that little bit. But just as importantly (if not more so), analyze your successes. Learning from those experiences, and applying those successful habits and practices will set you up for more success in the future. Find your sweet spot, your zone, Be a Detective, and never, ever, stop learning.