On failure

Failure has such a negative connotation in our society – the word itself though isn’t a negative word, it isn’t derived from some Latin root that forces it to be negative. It is entirely within our own minds and society that we have developed the understanding of the word failure to mean a bad thing. I have suggested on more than one occasion that we should embrace failure more thoroughly in our society. Even suggesting a Most Influential Failure award for Seattle’s GeekWire and including failure in my 10 brief thoughts on success. Most people have a hard time embracing failure though due to these social norms. Even my own kids do a terrible job embracing failure so I doubt that it is something that any one person can easily teach another due to the rest of society admonishing those that fail.

Yet our society continues to avoid failure and think that somehow we can be highly successful without it. At the same time, our heros, our sports stars, the people we hold above all others in the spotlight are continual failures. Nathan Myhrvold believes people and firms failures are required to advance society as a whole. Yet only the in the people we admire are the people we accept for their failures. While our own failures are viewed as bad. Here Michael Jordan – perhaps the most loved sports star of our time – talks about his failure (of course as a paid advertisement for Nike)…

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