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Internalising and externalising success and failure  

This interesting article about how important a culture of failure is to innovation led to a fantastic comment on Hacker News:

One thing I remember reading that really stuck with me - most people externalize failure and internalize success. Meaning, when things go wrong, they point to external factors. When things go right, they credit their own skill and ability.

The opposite way is to externalize success and internalize failure - that means claiming responsibility for it whenever you don't get desired results, but being very skeptical of your successes and looking for where external factors broke your way so you don't get too high on yourself.

Turns out, externalizing failure/internalizing success makes you much happier but much less able to produce results.

Whereas internalizing failure/externalizing success makes you much less happy but much more able to deliver results.

Both are worth reading, and match up with Eric Ries' if you can't fail, you can't learn, a quote which I'm finding more and more insightful every day.

More from the library:
Firing yourself, again and again
Productised services: #2: Services companies
What should you do if an experienced mentor tells you it's a bad idea?