I’m sure you have heard about or asked that famous question: Do we learn more from success or failure?
Let’s put that question on hold for a moment for a quick question, When I was at university, I submitted two assignments. I scored well on one and did not score well on the other. Guess which one I wanted to review?
You do something that you think is amazing, nine people say bravo and give you a standing ovation, and one person says, not so fast. Guess who you focus on?
This is not uncommon, the issue with debriefing after success is that there is almost no patience to make them meaningful.
A debrief after a failure feels like a necessary post-mortem.
A debrief after success feels like attempts to delay the party.
Success, in short, makes us lazy and complacent.
Success makes us want to celebrate and then come back and get the next success [sometimes without putting in the work].
When you are winning, nothing hurts, but when you are losing, everything hurts.
“It’s back to the drawing board” is often said by the losing team than the winning one.
Reflections after success can be as rich as those from failure.
Just because failure makes learning seem more important doesn’t mean that it is.
Learning from success is as important as learning from failure.
Perhaps that is why self discipline is often cited as a key success ingredient, it takes discipline to overcome the resistance and get on with the reflection and learning.
And, of course, we can avoid the whole discussion by learning to ignore the result and focus hard on the process.
Good decisions and a good process => good results in the long run.
Reflecting on the process is an easier habit to instill and your process can almost always get a bit better.
That is when it stops being about winning and losing.
A process focus is all about the playing.
Welcome to the infinite game.