Monday, 31 January 2011

2011 Challenge

''If you’re going to risk and maybe fail, fail at something that matters. Fail gloriously so that even in failure, lives change''
-John Acuff
What a great quote. You can find it in John's new book and you should. He is one of the funniest and most honest people I've read.
But that's not why it's my quote for the year. It's my quote for the year because I want to get more done in a way that is life changing and glorious. I may fail spectacularly, but if we learn from it, then it wasn't wasted. I regularly tell Will that it's okay to make mistakes, that is how we learn. Will it ever sink in if I don't model it for him?

So I've been thinking about it a lot lately and my personal conclusion is that as educators and parents we would do our children a great service if we told them it's okay to fail.  "If something appeals to you, try it!  Give it your best effort and maybe it'll work out well.  Maybe it won't.  It's okay to try and fail!"  I think in our society our appreciation of childhood (and adult) excellence and success far outweighs our appreciation of real effort.  The dangerous outcome of that for some is a sense of defeat before they even try.

Acknowledging that great plans and best efforts might nonetheless fail and that sometimes failure is perfectly okay will remove the fear of the social stigma and embarrassment of failure.  These same kids will pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again or try something else without a sense of total defeat from the first failure.

Remember, Michael Jordan went home crying when he was cut from his high school basketball team because he wasn't good enough.  The rest is history.


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