The art of failure

Failure. It’s our dirty little secret. Everybody does it, except our own mothers and that cute guy or girl from across the hall. And yet we live in fear of it, shoving our mishaps under the rug to hide them from prying eyes. We take the path most traveled to avoid looking like a fool and showing the rest of the world we are human. Falling short of a desired result seems to be the ultimate shame.

“God damn you! Look what you’ve done to me!”

But what’s so horrible about failing? Everyone drops the ball once in a while—it’s part of the human experience. Failing shows us how we can improve what we’re doing and push ourselves to new heights. Instead of seeing our missteps as embarrassments, we should consider failure an art.

Like any art, failure consists of different schools and approaches. Some people like to deny their mistakes or insist that their blunders are not their fault. Though this is much more fun than assuming responsibility for our actions, this strategy yields few long-term benefits. It perpetuates the error, changing it from “a cute quirk” to “a total turnoff.” A more helpful way of dealing with failure is to acknowledge it and use it to our advantage. But how?

“Hold on, let me just get out my directions…”

They key to failing artfully is figuring out what went wrong. Ever sent out a snarky tweet to no response?Dropped a pickup line that backfired? Instead of ignoring these instances and labeling them as outliers, try to analyze them. Understand what did not work and apply this knowledge to future situations. Improve your tactics and show the world you are better for having stumbled in the first place.

People often describe failure as the opposite of success. A better way to understand it is as a detour along the way—a hidden road to an even grander destination. It may be winding and untrodden, but stick through it and you will have created a beautiful work of art.

Some masterpieces are timeless.

So what do you think of failure as an art? Let me know in the comments section below! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday!

Click here to read last week’s post: Three Amazing Facts About the Quantum World!


Comment question of the week

What’s your masterpiece?


8 thoughts on “The art of failure

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