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Keep Moving Forward: Five Tips To Turn Defeat Into Victory

Lewis, the child inventor, waited while his invention warmed up. It was a peanut butter and jelly dispenser, designed to portion evenly onto bread.

The switch clicked ON, followed by a hiss of compressed air. At first it didn’t seem like the contraption is working…

Suddenly, with the force of a fire hose, peanut butter and jelly sprayed everywhere (except the bread). Pressurized PB&J covered the table, the walls, and the rest of the people in the room.

Lewis was extremely frustrated, and the adults began to yell at him… “You Failed!”

However, far from angry, they were celebrating. They continued…

“…And it was awesome! Exceptional! Outstanding!”

“From failing you learn, from success not so much.”

The praise concluded with the advice, “Keep moving forward!

This is a great scene in the middle of the Disney animated feature Meet the Robinsons. A nice lesson for kids and adults alike. The advice – “from failing you learn, from success not so much” –  is golden.

When things do go wrong what should you do?

The following are bits of advice are from the book “The Magic Of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz. Great tips to follow to “salvage something from every setback.”

Five Tips to Turn Defeat Into Victory

  1. Study setbacks to pave your way to success. When you lose, learn, and then go on to win next time.
  2. Have the courage to be your own constructive critic. Seek out your faults and weaknesses then correct them. This makes you a professional.
  3. Stop blaming luck. Research each setback. Find out what went wrong. Remember, blaming luck never got anyone where he wanted to go.
  4. Blend persistence with experimentation. Stay with your goal but don’t beat your head against a stone wall. Try new approaches. Experiment.
  5. Remember, there is a good side in every situation. Find it. See the good side and whip discouragement.

What techniques have you picked up that allow you to turn setbacks into progress? Does your company support mistake-makers? If so, how?


What’s neat about the movie, is the phrase “Keep Moving Forward” is actually a snippet from a Walt Disney quote…

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

They do a neat job of celebrating this quote at the close of the movie before the credits roll.

Robinson’s image © Walt Disney Company

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