International Day for Failure

October 13 is the day we, if not celebrate, at least admit that, failure is something universal. The idea for this day originated at the Aalto University in Finland. The official website  for this day says, “Without the possibility of failure there is no success, they go hand-in-hand. After all, failure means you have grabbed the opportunity to succeed. Day for Failure is the best day to show some stupidity, error estimation, awkward moments, and other fails to the world. So let’s celebrate our shortcomings and failures, share our experiences and promote the understanding of failure as a learning experience.”

An article by Alana Schetzer associates failure with risk-taking. She says, “If you don’t take a risk, then you can’t learn and you can’t grow as a person. If you look at how children learn and grow, they try things all the time and get it wrong and then they try again. They have a great resilience.” Failure can be a way to learn to do something better – at least you learn what doesn’t work.

When I worked at Amazon, the company gave a prize at our big company meetings that acknowledged some major creative project whether or not that project succeeded. The idea was to create an atmosphere that encouraged risk-taking and thinking big.

There is often a stigma attached to failure, particularly in our culture that rewards success so highly. We fear to look foolish or incompetent. Yet failure is often the path to success. J.K. Rowling’s  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was rejected twelve times before it was reluctantly published. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Think how different our lives would be today if he had given up.

So don’t be afraid to fail. It only shows you are trying!

Quotes about failure

Accept failure as a normal part of living. View it as part of the process of exploring your world; make a note of its lessons and move on.–Tom Greening and Dick Hobson

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.–William Faulkner

Being afraid to fail is what prevents many of us from trying something new, putting ourselves out on a limb. It often stops us singing, running, working for an exam or telling a joke in company. Fear of failure can also stop us trying to pray. Just in case nothing happens. Just in case we feel foolish. Just in case we make a mess of it.–Lucy Winkett

The biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.– Charles Kettering

Do not take yourself too seriously. You have to learn not to be dismayed at making mistakes. No human being can avoid failures.–Lawrence G. Lovasik

Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.–George Eliot

Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.–John Dewey

The freedom to fail is vital if you’re going to succeed. Most successful people fail from time to time, and it is a measure of their strength that failure merely propels them into some new attempt at success.–Michael Korda

If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.–Woody Allen

Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over gain, and you will grow stronger until have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.–Anne Sullivan

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