Lessons in Failure


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Failure is another one of those evil “F” words. Since childhood we are indoctrinated to avoid failure. It’s embedded into our education system. As a child, you experience failure for the first time when you fail a test. The teacher puts a big “F” on your test and immediately you learn that failure is bad.  Our education system has been enormously successful in indoctrinating future generations into believing failure is a very bad thing. As a result, our children learn very quickly to avoid failure at all costs. In this system, when you fail, you are berated and punished. This breaks down morale, destroys self-confidence, subdues enthusiasm, which dulls your imagination and derails you from taking risks, creating goals and pursuing dreams. As a result of this indoctrination, failure stops most in its tracks.

This is the opposite of what should be happening. When you fail at something the logical response should be to figure out where you went wrong and then apply that new knowledge and try again. Thomas Edison did this. He failed over 10,000 times with his incandescent lightbulb. Edison was able to leverage failure, converting it into a stepping stone to success. Edison proved that there is far more value in failing than in succeeding. You learn more from failure than you do from success. Failure teaches you what no to do in life. In a sense, failure is the most valuable lesson you can learn in life because failure is like scar tissue on the brain. It stays with you forever.

It takes an enormous amount of reprogramming to overcome the indoctrination that failure is a bad thing. Embrace failure. The only true failure in life is when you quit. Quitting makes failure permanent. Don’t accept failure as a bad thing. It’s lessons are invaluable. Failure is the mother of success.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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