Think about the last time you learned how to do something. Was your first attempt perfect? Probably not. But did you keep trying and eventually create something better than you had originally hoped for? Most likely.
True learning doesn’t come from getting it right the first time. Learning comes from trying. Like the phoenix that rises from the ashes, truly learning something can only happen when you have failed to do it right the first time.
If something takes no effort to do, are you really going to think about what you are doing and ask yourself what could be done to make it better? No. You’re going to complete the task and move on without thinking about it.
When something doesn’t work, you are forced to spend time with the problem, analyzing it from multiple angles to see where it can be improved. By doing so, you learn more about what you are trying to accomplish - both why things work and why they don’t. This is where true learning happens.
When I was trying to teach myself HTML a few years ago, I struggled through every single line of code. But, once I figured things out, I am able to easily recall them, even years later. And better yet, when I started to learn Arduino, I was able to carry over those lessons and apply them to the new language. I was even able to explain why certain things worked the way they did and why they were important to those who were learning Arduino with me. My initial struggles and failure vastly improved my understanding and recall of the concepts.
That’s the power of failure.
Failure should not be looked upon as a bad thing, rather it should be seen as a chance to improve and grow. When viewed properly, failure is a good thing. Changing the mindset behind failure makes it easier to fail, and easier to learn.
When students aren’t afraid to fail, they are more willing to try new things and to keep trying when they run into obstacles. In this way, they are able to turn failure into success. And that can fuel them to keep trying much longer than instant success ever could.