What Type of Failure Defeated You

There’s an often (mis)quoted phrase, “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”  The problem is that remembering is not enough.  You have to understand what went wrong.  You have to learn from it. You have to wring every last bit of knowledge from the defeat that the Dragon dealt you, so that next time you have a better chance of skewering the bastard.
Before you can figure out what to do differently next time, you have to know what type of defeat you were dealt. Here are some of the more common ones. 

Biting off more than you can chew

This is an easy one to figure out.  When you get to the dragon, and it’s larger than you were expecting.  In fact, it’s so big that it smacks you down with one flick of its talon.  And, as you tumble from its lair, you long for smaller prey, or bigger weapons.  Essentially, this comes down to underestimating the scale of the task, or overestimating your abilities.  This, unfortunately will keep happening, but, as you get better at planning your hunts, the difference between dragon and weapon size becomes smaller and more manageable.

Hunting lizards, not Dragons

Like biting off more than you can chew, this comes from bad estimation of Dragon size and personal ability, however, instead of being smacked down, you tend to wonder what the lizard shaped smear under your boot was.  If, when you’re planning your dragon hunt, you look at the path ahead of you and it feels easy, you’re probably falling into this trap.

Hunting in the wrong place

It makes sense that you won’t find Sea Dragons in the forest, or Mountain Dragons in the swamp, and yet, we often look where we know they won’t be.  This could be for any number of reasons.  You don’t fully understand the nature of the dragon, you haven’t checked your direction because you were making good progress. Or, you’ve gone hunting in an area that suits your current skill set because developing a new one felt too difficult. Depending on which particular flavor of misdirection has occurred will govern where you have to fix it.  Not understanding the quarry gets fixed while choosing a dragon, ensuring you have the right skill set for the hunt, or developing the correct one is fixed during the planning and preparation stage, and can be a hunt all on its own.  Going in the wrong direction is why you have to review your progress often.

Choosing the wrong season

This normally happens when the time taken for the hunt is incorrectly estimated, resulting in arriving too early or too late.  The hibernating dragon in winter, is the same belligerent short-tempered brute you’ll encounter in autumn, or the overly enthusiastic pyromaniac you’ll meet in spring.  The good news is that the more hunts you go on, the better you’ll get at estimating how long they’ll take.  The bad news, is that no matter how good you get, it’s not an exact science, and you’ll still have days where you are wildly inaccurate.  

Wrong place, Wrong time

This is by far the most annoying thing that can happen to foil your Dragon hunt.  Sometimes, you can do everything right and still fail.  These are the random occurrences, the second flat tyre, the unanticipated and unplanned for events that prove detrimental.  There’s not a lot you can do about these, except pick yourself up, and try again, maybe with an extra contingency or two the second time round.

There you have it.  Understanding why you failed is the first step to preventing the same failure next time.  Of course, the next step is learning from it and including it in your plans, which is a lot easier said than done.

Sometimes You Just Need a Quick Win

It happens to everyone.  You make a plan to defeat the Dragon and then you don’t follow through.  It starts with something little that you don’t do for a great reason.  And soon, soon you stop doing big things for bad reasons. That way lies madness, depression, and ultimately, defeat. How do you get back…

Embrace Failure, Just Don’t Quit!

From an early age, we’re taught to abhor failure.  It’s something to be avoided, and for some, this avoidance of failure becomes so strong that it turns into paralysis.  We become so scared of not succeeding, of being judged a loser, of receiving an epic face palm, that we stop trying altogether. So where does…

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

   You’ve got a better understanding of the nature of decisions (if not you can learn about the hydra of choice and then come back) you can learn about the types of decisions you could make.  Essentially, there are only three types of decisions, Good, Bad and Ugly. Now, good and bad decisions are really two…

Knowing the Hydra, some thoughts on choice

   Decisions and choice are part of everyone’s daily routine.  For the aspiring Dragon Slayer, these decisions tend to be more complex than what flavor of ice cream to have. Now, the common portrayal of moments of choice as a crossroads or fork in the road is woefully inadequate.  You don’t make a decision, then…

Look Back, Look Down, Look Forward

   Sometimes, on a Dragon Hunt, you’re afforded a natural point at which to stop and review your progress, and carry out a course correction to get you where you want to go.  Unfortunately, if you wait for these points to come along, you’ll find that Dragon Hunts take far longer than expected. The reason…

Celebrate Small Victories

   Dragon Hunts tend to be big epic tasks. Journeys worthy of being immortalized in verse. Adventures that would make The Illiad look like a children’s story. They take years, require growth on an unprecedented scale, and will change you in ways you couldn’t begin to imagine. The problem is, you have to stick with…

Overkill is Underrated

   Most of the time when hunting Dragons, the best bet is to make steady progress.  Make sure you take a series of next steps, and before you know it, the Dragon head is up on your wall. But, what do you do when there’s a massive obstacle in your way. A giant boulder that…

Doubt! Why you want it!

   Questions are always tricky.  The right question at the right time, can send you down the path to greatness.  The same question at a different time, can leave you curled up in a fetal position, sobbing yourself to sleep.  And the wrong question can lead you so far off course, you’ll never find your…

Burn the Treasure Map

   We would all like to be able to follow a treasure map. You know, sail 3 miles east, four miles north, find the forked tree, take 17 steps south-east and X marks the spot. Dragon Hunts don’t work like that. Dragon Hunts are more like, sail 3 miles east, realize you’ve been going west,…