The importance of failure – thought for the week.

Thursday, 01 Sep 2022


Too often, we protect our kids from making mistakes.

Failure is an important stepping-stone on the way to success, because it helps to develop character. If you're able to bounce back from failure, it gives you a certain amount of resilience and a confidence that next time you can experience a setback and recover and do better.

In How Children Succeed, the author relates the story of Elizabeth Spiegel, a teacher at Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, who teaches chess as a way of showing students the benefits of failure. As Spiegel points out, in order to improve at chess, you have to focus on what you're bad at. You have to analyse your games and figure out what you're doing wrong. In chess, failure is merely a stepping-stone to your next victory.

The author believes that children who are unused to failure are actually at a disadvantage.

"They end up being fragile and brittle, and they'll go out into the world and experience some kind of setback and it will often completely derail them, because they haven't had that experience, that opportunity to learn how to fail."

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