Celebrate Failure

In almost every training we do at laugh2learn the opportunity arises to celebrate failure. Usually it’s when someone says, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand,” or something similar. At that point we interrupt whatever we are doing to talk just a bit about failure and why it is so destructive to be ashamed of it. If you haven’t failed, you’re not trying enough new things.

We then get into a circle and I invite participants to step forward and announce their failures and we all cheer. I am amazed that almost always at least two-thirds of the participants want to announce a failure. At a recent training at an academic institution where  students and faculty were participating together, a professor stepped forward and announced that he had submitted many articles that were never published. We all cheered, and I think the students really appreciated hearing of a professor’s failure.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Hear what Michael Jordan had to say about failure:

 “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

So, be bold. Take a risk. Take the shot. Sometimes you will fail. Celebrate that. It means you were trying.

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