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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wynter

Why Failure is not the Opposite of Success (and yes I’d love a coffee)

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Most people remember baseball legend Babe Ruth as one of the great hitters of all time, with a career record of 714 home runs. However, he was also a master of the strike out. That’s because he always swung for home runs, not singles or doubles. Ruth either succeeded big or failed spectacularly. No one wants to make mistakes or fail. But if you try too hard to avoid failure, you’ll also avoid success. It has been said that to increase your success rate, you should aim to make more mistakes. In other words, take more chances and you’ll succeed more often. Those few really great ideas you come up with will more than compensate for all the dumb mistakes you make. Dean Rieck on Copyblogger

In my improv workshops I’ve been teaching with my newly launched improv company – SQUEEEEEEE! – we’ve been doing quite a lot of stuff based on embracing failure. It’s actually really helped me tremendously – it’s that old cliche, isn’t it? The teacher being the student? The parent being the child? It’s times like this I just imagine myself as a blonde Sandra Bullock going “He’s changing mine…” With me? Two points.

Anyhoo, I’m kinda in love with this whole failure thing right now. There were some great points on this in a recent article in Notebook magazine, if you care to check it out.

It brings to my mind Miss Frizzle off The Magic School Bus (which my kids were completely obsessed with while we were in Canada, I’m yet to see it here in Oz) whose catchcry was “Make mistakes!” I love it. We have to. If we don’t ever make mistakes then it doesn’t mean we’re succeeding, it just means we’re not doing anything.

The opposite of success isn’t failure. It’s just complacency.

(Note: not sure if this is technically actually true, but it’s workin’ for me. And if that isn’t just the basis of belief, then what is?!)

Let’s do it! Let’s make mistakes! Let’s fail gloriously!

After all, if failure’s such a  bad thing, then how come these are so FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!

Gotta love the gumball.

*Note: Last 5 images courtesy of

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