How smart do we fail ?

There is IQ.

There is EQ.

There is SQ.

And now there is TryQ 😉

For now it has three plateaus:

Low TryQ:

Try -> fail -> blame.

Medium TryQ:

Try -> fail -> try -> fail -> try -> fail -> try -> fail -> try -> succeed or quit.

High TryQ:

Try -> fail -> try -> fail open-eyed -> try better -> fail open-eyed -> try sedulously * -> fail open-eyed -> try sedulously -> succeed or quit mindfully.


Succeeding does not come from absence of failure. It comes from lots of failures.

Success is not about right and wrong. It is about

  • how good the impact is when we are right and
  • how bad the impact is when we are wrong.

(This principle is seen by a few ‘smart’ people as an excuse to privatise gains and socialise losses. To do this is often profitable for while, but it is nevertheless a rather disingenuous application of the principle)

Sustainable success requires continuous learning. And learning requires playful or purposeful or mindful failing. Nobody just “told” us to walk. We learned walking.

Fast learning requires high frequency open-eyed failure combined with a sedulous attempt to succeed.

What, then, is the difference between a teaching environment and a learning environment.

A teaching environment tells what is right and wrong – and being wrong is a sin.

A learning environment facilitates trying and failing – and not trying is the sin.