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A One-Page Summary Of

Fail Fast, Fail Often

How Losing Can Help You WIN

The Main Idea

Happy and successful people tend to spend less time planning and more time acting than average people. They get out into the world, try new things, make mistakes and fail at first and in doing so, they lay the foundation for future successes. Not only do they learn what will work by first finding out for themselves what does not but they also benefit from unexpected experiences and opportunities.

It's a paradox but the more you lose in the early stages, the more you tend to win over the long haul. Take the plunge. Get into action. Rather than being discouraged by your early failures, take heart. The best way to learn what will work in the future is to find out for yourself what doesn't work today.

Fail fast. Fail often. Fail your way forward.

The more you fail, the more you will live, and you deserve a wonderful life! Starting today, set aside five minutes a day to do what you love. Find something you have been meaning to do and give yourself permission to do it badly right away. Successful people have a knack for performing poorly. Find a way today to step outside of your usual haunts, habits, and thinking patterns to experience new possibilities. Take a small, immediate step related to your interests or aspirations. The best way to gain confidence and improve your mood is to take action, even though you're not feeling up to it. Now it's time for you to get out there and fail as quickly as you possibly can. And then fail again.
Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz

Title of main idea.

1. Do more of what you consider fun so you're happy. Don't assume you will only have fun when you meet some arbitrary criteria. Get out and have some fun today and do that over and over. This is the way to be happy.

2. Try things with a view to failing fast and failing often. Get into action as quickly as possible and expect to fail while you learn the ropes. Seek opportunities where you can push yourself so you find out what your limits are.

3. Be curious about anything and everything. Explore stuff and have fun without worrying about making a long-term commitment. Be insatiably curious about how things work and dabble.

4. Don't marry a job or a career before your first date. Society expects you to name your occupation while you're still in school. That's crazy. Don't over-plan or commit. Be prepared to try lots of different jobs on for size.

5. Think big and dream but then find ways to act small. Big dreams are great — don't limit what you dream about but figure out what you need to do in the here and now to move forward. Focus on generating small wins daily.

6. Innovate to add value to your life and to the world. Every day provides opportunities to add value by doing something different. Seize those opportunities with passion. Seek out new experiences to enjoy.

7. Think less and try more overcomes analysis paralysis. Analyzing everything in detail is helpful but the benefits accrue when you do things. Boldly engage in the actions which will generate change. Think less and do more.

8. Stop resisting and start doing and you'll feel better. Energy comes when you're engaged in exciting projects, learning new stuff and immersing yourself in something new. Put aside doubt and get into motion.

9. Get the help of friends, mentors and others. If you study the lives of successful people, they never do it alone. They have a community of people they call on for help. Build great relationships with lots of folk.

About the Authors

Ryan Babineaux is an educational consultant and career counselor. He and John Krumboltz are the creators and teachers of the highly popular Stanford University psychology course titled "Fail Fast, Fail Often." He is a graduate of Stanford University, Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Babineaux's focus in his professional career is analyzing how successful people lead better lives.

John Krumboltz is a professor at Stanford University. He specializes in counseling psychology and career counseling. he is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Columbia University and Coe College. He is the author or coauthor of more than 200 articles and publications including the book Luck is No Accident.

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