Failing successfully

What is failure and when is the best time to fail? Is it during college when there is the safety net of “being a experimental student” to catch you? Would that be considered failing? Or is it when there is almost no safety net, you have given it your best, and there is nothing else you can do presently to avoid the failure?

Failure and, most importantly, its aftermath of validated learning (versus learning) have always been trademarks I look for in people. It’s almost as if I trust people who have failed and learned from their experiences more than I trust people who have not. The harder and earlier they fail, the more I am assured of their work ethics, passion, and overall character. Because by failing successfully, i.e. with validated learning , we have gone through a whole range of emotions, from humiliation, abandonment, to  frustration. We have to learn how to deal with these emotions, put our reputation on the line, and convince ourselves and others that we are worth the investment and effort.  Failure is a testament of our character strength.

Perhaps it is narrow-sided of me to look at people’s failures as a marker for their character, but I think failing is important. We should not try to fail just so we can say that we have failed, but when we have failed despite our effort to avoid it at all cost, it makes us that much more genuine. And down to earth.


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