I was reminded of a thought by this article, Before success comes the courage to fail. I agree with the sentiment.
This lead me back to The Passionate Programmer, in chapter 25 “How Much are you worth” Chad suggests you take stock of how much money you make and compare that to a prospective ROI for your employer. It’s a powerful exercise.
Put the two together and you get a problem, you need to be either so good you don’t make mistakes or so amazing that every success is a block buster. But another way to think about it is you need to average out better; do your successes outweigh your failures? Of the three possible views (good, amazing, average) the first two are traps, they lead to dangerous behaviour. A “good” approach leads people in to cognitive bias. At some point you either hide or ignore mistakes or stop taking risks. The “amazing” approach forces you to always look for the largest possible gain, taking on bigger and bigger risk until a massive failure is guaranteed.
If, on the other hand, you truly remember your successes and failures (write them down as they happen) and take small risks following the ones that look to success, you will average out on top in the long run.
You must be willing to fail, learn, and move on. This is the road to success.