Okay, stick with me a moment for this metaphor. Life is a journey. Your daily decisions are your progress along the path. You carry with you a pack that holds everything you are and everything you need.
When you go the wrong way, make a bad decision, fail at something, you add that experience to your pack. You have a choice between two items.
You may pick up a trophy or a tool.
The trophy is symbol of your failure, something to always remember it by. When you put that in your pack, you can take it out and look at it whenever you want, to remind yourself of the cost of failure. But the trophy is heavy and serves no other purpose. You begin to avoid anything that might add more trophies to your pack. You stop taking risks.
But you don’t have to pick up the trophy at all. It is just dead weight. You could just leave it lying on the side of the road. You could pick up the tool instead. The tool is the thing you now know you need because of the failure. The item or idea or practice that might have kept you from failing in the first place. But you didn’t know you needed it until after your terrible experience. Now you know.
What if for every failure you picked up another new tool? Your pack would be filled with creative swiss army knives, inspirational flashlights and emotionally resilient rolls of duct tape. With enough failures behind you, you’d soon become unstoppable.