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Keep Trying Doors

There is a quote by Arianna Huffington, the author of Thrive, that says, “[My mother] taught me there is always a way around a problem – you’ve just got to find it. Keep trying doors; one will eventually open. She also taught me to accept failure as part and parcel of life. It’s not the opposite of success; it’s an integral part of success.”

Reading that quote made me imagine a person haphazardly walking around trying out doors until one opened. While it is true that persistence is the key to success, but Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again hoping for different results.

You see where I’m going with this…

Don’t just continue trying doors blindly and haphazardly. After every rejection, pause before trying the next door and study where you went wrong. Collect data. Improve your approach. Upgrade your skills. Then try the next door. Failures are good because they teach you more than successes ever will. They tell you where you blew the deal; what made the relationship go south; what made you fail the interview. Most importantly, they provide you with data. But remember the words of Charles Duhigg in Smarter Faster Better, “Data can be transformative but only if people know how to use it.”

Oh, and about the doors. I know it’s not explicitly stated, but make sure they’re different doors…

Sometimes the door does open if you try hard enough, but that’s because you broke the lock…and maybe commited a felony in the process. So be smart and try different doors.
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Picture is of 19th centure door in Lamu, Kenya, courtesy of

Published inCareerPersonal Development