What Children Can Teach Us About Failure

This is my daughter, Allie.

She's my firecracker, my spitfire. She's the epitome of unbending willpower.

Fathering her is a delicate balance between goodnight kisses and unwavering stare-downs over the appropriate number of cookies one should have for dessert.

My boys aren’t like that.

One son is rule-bound and the other finds every way to please us.

But all three share one thing in common; the same thing all children share in common.

They don't worry about being humiliated. They don’t worry about failing.

They just barge ahead.

As a child, I used to barge ahead too. Not in that riding-my-bike-off-concrete-embankments, climbing-ridiculously-tall-trees, or roasting-pink-troll-hair-with-homemade-hairspray-flamethrowers kind of way (though I did those things too).


No, the barging ahead I did was with art—trying to draw everything I saw with the utmost realism, and failing. Or with computers—tearing them down (both the software and hardware) just to build them back up, and failing at that too.

Indeed, it seemed as though every time I barged ahead, I failed. But, over time, the lessons from these failures added up into something called experience.

Nobody ever got anywhere, learned anything, or made any change by worrying about failure or humiliation.

They got somewhere, learned something, and made the change they wanted to see in the world by brushing off past failures and getting to work. By trying, trying, and trying again. By taking their ideas and dreams and barging ahead.

About the Author


Michael Mehlberg


I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

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