Ask teachers what their least favorite task is and I’ll bet you hear about "giving grades." Once a teacher starts returning grades to the students, the honeymoon phase of the relationship is over for those who want A’s and don’t have them. To get the best grades, a student must consistently deliver to the teacher what that teacher asks for, in the shape and form the teacher prefers: usually it’s a matter of getting the "correct" answer. Students who choose to take the most challenging courses are penalized in the form of lower grades. Problem is….in living a juicy life, there are plenty of right answers and wonderful solutions. You simply have to fail until you find them.
Failure in the real world looks like this:
The product you created doesn’t work the way you thought it would.
People misunderstand what you told them.
No one signs up for your seminar or buys your book.
You don’t get the job you applied for.
Someone breaks up with you.
You pay a bill late.
You burn the rice.
Your kid throws a tantrum at Target.
When these things happen, as they always do, it feels terrible. After a while, you buck yourself up and try, try again.
But there’s a trick to shortening the cycle, to feeling less pain and moving forward faster. And this trick is completely the opposite of what you were trained to do in school. It is completely counter-intuitive if you’ve been formally educated.
The trick is to fail more often.
Failing is learning. Failure is trying something new. Failure is see what works.
It takes all of these experiences to move forward in any meaningful way. Knowing that "failure" is progress, go out and live your life with class, sophistication and glamour, if that’s what appeals to you, failing with style is just part of it.
If you never try anything new, you’ll never know what it’s like to fail and to succeed with class, sophistication and glamour.