Reframing Failure

I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.  

~ Thomas A. Edison



Words matter.  How we think about ourselves, our perceived successes and our perceived failures is interesting to me.  I have friends with boundless enthusiasm and an almost limitless capacity for turning any situation into a success.  These folks are masters of reframing.


If Edison lacked the capacity to think of 10,000 “ways that won’t work” and instead had angsted over his “failures” - could he have tried that 10,001st time?  I think not. People who cannot handle failure may lack the resilience needed to innovate or even stay with meaningful but mostly doomed endeavors simply because they are meaningful and the right thing to do.


Reframing can be mostly good, and I’d rather have the capacity to reframe than not.  It allows us to adjust our expectations along the way. Edison is a great example of a guy who appreciated the value of a decent reframe.  Instead of considering every experiment a failure, he looked at each one as eliminating a option that was never going to bring him success.



What situations would benefit from some reframing in your life?