Taught Not To Fail

One of the things I love about Twitter is that at any given moment (when I’m paying attention), I can be introduced to some brand new idea or some great piece of information that has been around for a long time.

I experienced this today, one of the people I have personally met and follow (@bfeld) came across the following Nike Michael Jordan commercial on youtube and shared it with us (this video has been on youtube for 3 years at the time of this writing):

With a little more poking around I found another MJ video out on youtube also (been there for about a year):

The videos reminded me that today’s school systems teach our kids on how “NOT TO FAIL”.  Our kids then become so afraid to fail they no longer take any risk and start making excuses.  This sets up most kids to eventually be just workers in the world after school, the business world where most employees are paid “not to fail”.

Taking on risk and learning from FAILURE is something our kids should be taught to embrace as a constant learning activity with positive attributes, that it takes & requires effort to become good at anything.

I remember reading in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell recently, that it takes 10,000 hours for an individual to become an expert and to master anything.

Boiling it down, this means 1,000 hours over 10 years, with 365 days in a year, this means practicing (or failing) 2.74 hours a day.  Almost 3 hours a day, every day, for 10 years.  Wow!  For most people the only activity one spends more than 3 hours on is sleeping, after that maybe driving.

Most of us know how amazing of a athlete Michael Jordan was at the height of his career, and we all know NOW that it was not luck that got him to greatness.

The videos above serve to remind all of us that becoming good at something takes effort, time, commitment, and a lot of “failures”.

With more kids “failing”, we might see more entrepreneurial thinking to grow our local communities and economies.

I’ll be teaching my kids to “fail” more, who knows where that perspective or frame of mind might lead?

– Dom

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