A Key Secret to Success - Embrace the Power of Failure
Once every year, thousands of UK students dread a period of their lives known as A-Level results week. For those outside the UK who don’t know what this means, it’s when high-school students receive their final grades – grades that will determine what direction their lives will take over the next few years. For some the results will be as expected and they’ll continue on the same path that they’ve been traveling for the last several years, most likely towards university. For others the results will not be as expected and they’ll be forced to re-think their future.
A small number of students will be facing grades that are significantly lower than they were hoping for. For them, the world can look pretty dark – especially if this is their first taste of (meaningful) failure.
But, while it might be a set-back (and is always an unpleasant experience), failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In some instances it can be a good thing. In the instance of A-level results it could indicate the subject was wrong for the student, or the teaching standards were inadequate, or the study approach was flawed, or the entire learning system wasn’t suitable. All of these possibilities can be reviewed, analysed and then used to define a different path – one that is more suitable, perhaps even ultimately preferable.
Even if the new path isn’t preferable it’s worth noting that people who don’t occasionally fail are either not trying or lying. Assuming that you ‘engage’ with life, some failure is inevitable. I would contend that people who accept the concept of failure are ultimately more successful than those who don’t.
These are six reasons why I think people who embrace failure are ultimately more successful than those who don’t. But there’s another reason to accept the possibility of failure: it makes life more fun. Toleration of failure and a willingness to ‘give things a go’ makes life infinitely more interesting and satisfying.
Just in case you don’t believe that failure can breed success, here’s a list of a few famous failures.
So, don’t be afraid to fail. Life is shorter than you think. Get out there and give it a go. Instead of being afraid of failure, embrace it!