Who said failure is not an option? Do you have to fail to succeed?


What is so terrible about failing?  I know – it is to say I failed. I didn’t reach expectations. I have not achieved and on and on.  So, what about the good aspects of failing?

How do you view regret? How do you teach a child with limited life experience about failure?  Is more  learned from failure than success?  What motivates you?

Lots of questions. Regret is so interesting. Most of us don’t want to own up to regretting anything because it is a failure to admit you failed. I made a poor choice. The truth is we learn from our mistakes. Everything in life is to teach us something, so if we don’t make a poor choice, or maybe not even that, maybe just didn’t do as well as we should have done, how do we grow?

Bottom line: every experience in our life is affected by the ones before it, so without mistakes or failure we wouldn’t learn and grow.  The path would be different. The next steps would be different. So how do you evaluate what you would have done differently if you don’t know what would have happened with different choices?

Heavy thoughts for a developing mind. Do you teach this through example and effective story telling? Do you model this by digging in after a poor choice and trying to make it right? Do you demonstrate motivation to get better by reacting to having not done as well as possible?

Lots of questions and not always clear  answers.  I tell this story to my students: “As you go through life you have a bucket and you gather your experiences and put them in the bucket. After a certain amount of time as the buckets fills, it is time to start taking those experiences out and sharing them with others.” Learn and teach. Teach and Learn.

It is impossible to understand the outcome without knowing what the process is.  Two plus two always equals four. There are no circumstances where it is five. However, some of life is trial and error. Thus, this is the reason why children go to school while they still are at home with (hopefully) positive role models to guide them and accept their mistakes. Let the students learn and understand from what went wrong.  What is the cost of success? Am I a decent person? Is that important? How do I build character?

What are the characteristics of a successful person? A successful student?  Is it just academic achievement or the whole person? One who can persist, persevere, handle adversity and perhaps MAKE CRISIS AN OPPORTUNITY will succeed.  It is important to learn academics, but not without empathy, and how to think and problem solve. Children learn from our actions and are always watching how the adults handle things.

Re-evaluate failure. It is an opportunity for success.

A recent article from The New York Times Magazine regarding The secret to success: FAILURE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html

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