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Failure and Reflection

Digital Thought
Hi there, and welcome to the first issue in 2020. I also want to welcome the new subscribers warmly. It’s fantastic that you’re here!
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my achievements and failures. The online magazine Negative White that I’ve found with my brother turns ten this year. So it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look back.
We tend to remember the highlights. They’re comfortable, something we can proudly share with others. Failures, on the other hand, are much harder to admit. Nothing groundbreaking here. However, while American culture celebrates failure to an almost perverted extent, Europeans tend to go silent if it comes to the topic. Both tendencies don’t seem to be healthy.
Let’s not beat around the bush: Failure sucks. Nobody likes it, and celebrating it as the US entrepreneurs do is – forgive me – bullshit.
Nevertheless, we are surrounded by polished social media profiles. Everybody’s living the perfect professional and private lives. We instantly know: This is not the honest truth. That’s not how life usually works. Therefore, we should be more open about our defeats, our mistakes, our failures.
That’s the reason why I published a review of the biggest fails, I’ve managed to make in the past decade at Negative White before we’re patting ourselves on the shoulders with the highlights.
Weekly Reflections
Another thing I used to do too little in the past few years: Reflection. Although it’s a crucial part of learning, I pushed thoughts about my feelings and performance aside and carried on.
It’s still the most important learning in my journey at Hyper Island how powerful reflection can be.
Then I found the right tool for me, do have regular reflections with a clear focus on my work. Inspired by Tom Armitage, I started to do my ‘Work Notes’ – a weekly review of what I accomplished and learned. So far, it works out to be a helpful framework. Especially when I work on projects with a lot of almost invisible, incremental tasks, I tend to lose track of what I did.
Work Notes #2
So, if you sometimes go home and think “What the hell have I been doing all day,” then I recommend to do ‘Work Notes’ aswell – in public or private.
Now, I’d like to hear…
…from you: Do you regularly reflect – and if so: how? And what do you think about the ‘Work Notes’? Please share your thoughts with me by hitting reply or send me a message on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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Janosch Troehler
Janosch Troehler @janoschtroehler

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