To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Black-Box Thinking.

Here is a book by Matthew Syed. I have not read the book, but understand that his key premise is that we should be learning from our mistakes. It is based on how in the aviation industry the black box recorders are examined after flight disaster in order to learn lessons so that aviation safety can be improved.The fundamental premise is that when you have a failure, you have to examine why that failure happened and implement strategies so that those failures do not happen again.

It is all about learning from your mistakes. So do I learn from any mistakes? Another way of expressing the phenomenon is to observe that life is not about living a failure free life; it is, rather, about learning from the failures that do happen. So easily though we do not have this mind-set. Rather, when we do have failures we just get over them, carry on with life and forget what happened. In such a case we have failed to benefit from the failure.

So am I a black-box thinker? I suggest that should be the general tenor of my life if I am to develop and get stronger. So easily though we sweep things under the carpet. Businesses, churches, marriages are left impoverished because lessons have not been learned from mishaps and mistakes.

Another danger is that when failure does happen there can a tendency to give up. So in marriages when the couple have a row, and are struggling to work things out, there can be the tendency to give up on it all. Or in business if a product is being developed, then it can be ditched at the first sign of difficulty. And in churches, if an evangelistic strategy did not work out, there can be a tendency to just say we will give up on all this reaching out to people. This will not do we must go beyond our mistakes whilst learning from them.

Winston Churchill said that “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  To make the best of failure you have to go beyond it. The Bible says in Proverbs 24:16 For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. Let us be continually learning, looking ahead and moving forward. After all if there was no black-box thinking then flights would either stop totally or be continually crashing, neither of which are good recipes for success when transposed into life in general.


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