Now that I’m on the other side of 40, the value of failure is obvious. Although painful at the time, it’s clear to me that my greatest moments of growth always came after I fell on my face.
As a junior in college, I applied to be editor of the school’s daily newspaper. Great interview. Didn’t get the job. Learned patience and the value of swallowing my pride to serve as the news section editor for the guy who did get the job. (That year, I worked as the news editor for a semester, won a prestigious three-month spring internship, and was eventually given the editor-in-chief role as a senior.)
After graduation, I worked a summer for the San Francisco Chronicle and applied for their two-year internship program. Lost the spot. Learned patience and the value of working in a small-town newspaper, where I pulled better assignments and was given far more responsibility than I would’ve been given at the big city paper. (That small-town job also put me on the path to becoming an education reporter, which eventually led me to the classroom. Definitely a win.)
In my late 20s, my engagement was broken three months before the wedding. A long story made short: I wanted kids; he did not. Learned patience and the value of not compromising on the things that are most important to me. (Today, I’m married to a better match and we have two awesome kids. Huzzah!)
In each of these cases, I felt sorry for myself for a night or two and then got busy making life better.
Life is hard and you will fail. It’s what you do next that determines the quality of your life. That’s the message I hope my own kids have learned by watching me and one I want to give to my current roster of students. This message, of course, is echoed all over social media, but I wanted to try to find reliable sources to back up what life experience has taught me to be true. To that end, I did some research and built this interactive bulletin board for my students.
Now let’s see if you can identify some of these famous failures (scroll down for answers):
Ready for the answers? Here we go…
Inspired? Make your own growth mindset board or save some time and grab my print-and-go materials.
Teach on, everyone!