When you start work on a project – there are 4 possible outcomes.
1. It turns out the way you want
2. It turns out better than you want
3. It does not turn out the way you want
4. It turns out worse than you want — meaning you are not able to finish it (Here are some ideas for finishing things you start)
When you finish it in line or better than your expectations then it is time to celebrate.
If it does not turn out the way you want then here is what you can do.
Accept that it is over. There is no point being the mouse that goes back again and again to the same spot thinking that the piece of cheese is still there. If you are collaborating with someone then opt out graciously if required. If you are in a job and have been given a boot — no point bad mouthing people involved, if you can help it. Just move on.
When you do a project your strengths come to the fore so does areas where you need to improve. Ask why it didn’t work out the way it should have. Also think about what worked.
It is possible that you make some mistakes on the path. see and note what they were.
3. Look at options ahead.
Life does not end with a project – whatever small or big – not working out.
Look at your options. Are there opportunities that are already waiting for you and you did not pay attention to.
You may need to dig the well and find out a new opportunity. You may need to work on getting new clients, start work on new software or hunt for a new job.
Always keep in touch with interesting people that you meet during the course of the project.
4. Savour your learnings and find ways to leverage them.
Any failed project is not without learning. You will end up improving your collaboration skills, communication skills, writing, or speaking. You may make new connections or get insights about new areas.
During a recent project I interviewed entrepreneurs from different background and captured these interviews on video. Now I am using this experience to launch a new project.
5. Learn from your mistakes and take a vow not to repeat them.
One should learn from mistakes and not repeat them, and do not curse yourself for making them. If you go out on the road, you will find traffic. If you take on something big you will make mistakes. It is part of the game. So take on big things, make more mistakes, and make things happen.
6. Take a break and re-align your priorities.
It is good to take a small break – and do what you have been putting off — during the project. Go meet friends, spend time with family. Do what you love doing.
While you are working on anything keep building your platform – more so if opportunities come your way through your platform.
This may sound counter intuitive but it makes sense to celebrate even when you make mistakes. If you become gloomy then you will not be not be able focus on things on hand.
If you think about it, life is made up of small things, projects – some will work, some will not. Then why bother too much.
Whatever be the case, try and be happy always and make celebration part of every day of your life. Then you will be able to live a fuller life. There is no other way it should be.