Mel’s Ten Tips on How to Learn from Failures by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג -
I'm a writer, scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. During the daytime I am advisor to the President of Shenkar College. In the evening I write children's books, satire, and "how to" manuals ("Mel's ten tips). I'm co-founder of Ourboox and married to Ourboox CEO Shuli Sapir-Nevo.
Oct 2013
Member Since
Published Books

Mel’s Ten Tips on How to Learn from Failures

by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג

Tip One – Learn from babies and young children

Babies learn by failing. They try to grab something. They fail. They try again. They try to stand. They fall. They get up. They try again. Acquiring any new skill requires failure. Learning to ride a bike. Learning to play the sax. Learning to water ski. Young children aren’t afraid to fail and try again. Neither should you.


Photo: Ilya Haykinson Wikimedia Commons


Tip Two – Fail Elegantly

We fail all the time. Prepare yourself. Plan your experiment. Practice. When you fail, fail in style. People who fail elegantly learn from the failure. Those who just try something and strike out rarely do.


Tip Three – Be a pro and give it your absolute best shot

In a tennis tournament, there may be a starting lineup of 128 players. All want to win the competition, but only one can (unless it’s doubles, of course). The odds of winning are less than 1%. If you give it your 100%, then you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did your best. That is what the pros do.


Tip Four – Finish what you start.

If you take on a project and don’t finish it, then you have 100% failed in its completion. If you muster the courage, strength and perseverance to complete the project, it still might not turn out exactly as planned, but you will have the satisfaction of being 100% successful in carrying it out to the finish line.


Tip Five – Learn from the Legends

Edison and his employees failed over a thousand times before they invented a commercially viable light bulb. Gain inspiration from legendary people who failed many times before they got it right.


Tip Six – Ignore the Critics

Ira Gershwin wrote “They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother when they said that man could fly”. All new ideas and projects will seem ludicrous to somebody, and often to everybody. Einstein said that if an idea doesn’t appear ridiculous, there is no hope for it. Be prepared to be criticized.



Tip Seven – Keep a Record

No failure is a waste of time if you recorded your steps along the way. If your experiment failed to produce results, check whether you conducted all the appropriate controls. Sometimes failure is due to wrong assumptions. Make a checklist.


Tip Eight – Be resilient, and get back in the game.

Everybody falls. Everyone loses. It’s disappointing. Take some time to feel sorry for yourself. It’s only natural. But then dust yourself off and get back in the game.




Tip nine – Rise to the challenge

Many famous and successful people had a difficult childhood, often losing a father (or being estranged or ridiculed by him), having to change schools, cultures, coping with physical difficulties, poverty, abuse, and so on. They were able to turn their limitations into challenges. There is a great satisfaction in proving the naysayers wrong.


Tip ten – Enjoy the journey

In life, most of us don’t end up where we wanted to go. But the people who cherish their unique journey and learn from it are the successful ones, in my opinion.


Bonus Tip – Be the Bonus Person

We usually need the help of others to succeed. But they need us too. When you show humor and compassion, and help others succeed, you often end up benefiting yourself more than you ever anticipated.


Extra Bonus Tip

I once asked a world technology leader what his secret to success is. He told me “I am a good listener.” Listening to others is hard, especially when we are trying to speak all thee time.

So, learn to be a good listener. To your customers, your colleagues and superiors. It’s unbelievable the information you get. For free.


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