Things can’t always go your way. Not everything you make is going to be perfect. Not everything you make is going to succeed in the vast ocean of content out there in the world. It is hard to accept and admit failure. But learning to use failure as a tool to reach perfection is key to improving as a designer. Failure isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it is the most important tool in your toolbox.
If something doesn’t play well, then admit it. Don’t deny it. The sooner you admit that it didn’t play to your standards, the sooner you can use it as a stepping stone towards something greater. Nobody wants to say that their map is terrible. We want to share our successes and ignore our failures. How about instead of ignoring our failures we learn from them. There is no shame in making a mistake once as long as we learn from it. However you should be ashamed if you haven’t tried to learn from your mistake and you blatantly commit the same crime again. Sometimes you can only get better through failing. Sometimes you don’t know that something is going to be terrible until you apply it. When you fail, you grow.
Fail to succeed
So what’s the key to success? Fail early and fail often. Fail when people aren’t expecting you to be perfect. Fail at the earliest opportunity possible because what you learn from your failure may help in your next project. If you have a crazy idea that might not work, then go try it. It is better to know now than to wonder later and fail when you have so many people counting on you to be awesome. You never know what’s good until you know what’s bad, right? And sometimes you never know how good something is until you know how bad it can be. Failure can lead to inspiration for your next project that seeks to remedy the mistake that you made. Innovation in design can lead to tragic failures. On the flip side it can lead to something revolutionary. Innovate the world around you and then tweak it to perfection. You will fail along the way, but you may find something that can completely change the world of design as you know it. Taking the time to invest in failure is something that needs to be taken into consideration as well. Failure is never a waste of time. Before you can create a wondrous pyramid, you’ve got to create the base. You’ve got to build up to reach the sky.
The back burner
So sometimes you fail and you can’t figure out where you went wrong. Don’t just drop it completely. Set your idea to the side for now. Future failures and things that you learn may help you learn from your massive failure. Let your idea simmer on the back burner as you work on other things. Revisit your idea every once in a while to see if new things you learned can help you solve the problem that you had. Never fully drop an idea into the abyss. All ideas have merit. The trick is to make that idea work. Who knows… a year from now you may return to an idea with a fancy new toolbox and a shiny new hammer. Maybe at that point you can finally nail that idea to the ground, solidifying its spot in history. Then you can look back and tell people how you turned failure into success and made a name for yourself. If I can do it, so can you.