My colleague Patrick Allan once explained how to avoid being a sore loser at competitive games. Let's revisit his lesson in a higher-stakes context. Say, an election.
Tagged With failure
Welcome back to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker's weekly dip into the pool of stoic wisdom, and a guide to using its waters to reflect on and improve your life.
It turns out that, while I am a very enthusiastic pie maker, I am not very good at it. I have seen a very wide gamut of pie failures over my baking career. Overcooked and cracked crusts, soggy bottoms, burnt edges, foul soup inside a crust -- I've been there. And this isn't as isolated as you'd think. These are all common failures in one's journey to a perfect pie, and we can learn from them. So join me, and let's get to problem solving.
"Failure" is a major buzzword in parenting today: In order to raise successful, resilient kids, we need to let them fail. If your kid forgets his homework or his sports uniform at home, don't bring it to him. If she's struggling with building a block tower or, later on, an essay, or even later on (heaven forbid), getting to her first job on time, don't step in. Only by struggling, and sometimes failing, do kids learn exactly what they must do to succeed.
There seems to be a lot of pressure on the home cook these days. It isn't enough to feed your family chicken breasts -- one should be feeding them free-range, organic, perfectly juicy chicken breasts that were cooked sous vide and served with vegetables you regrew from a curated selection of kitchen scraps. This perfectionist vibe is permeating food writing and the culture of home cooking, with everyone striving to churn out consistently perfect meals, night after night.
At elite universities, faculty members have been noticing a problem. Many students, while impressive on paper, seem to be unable to cope with simple struggles -- getting assigned to a dorm room they're not thrilled with, scoring less than an A-minus on a midterm, or not making the cut on school teams. The lack of resilience has become so apparent that Smith College now offers an entire course on how to fail. (One uncomfortable class project: Having your worst failures projected onto a large screen in the campus hub. Ouch.)
Last week, readers told us their biggest life hacking fails, and some of them were truly spectacular. So good, in fact, we just had to share them with you. You'll laugh, you'll cry, but you'll mostly just be glad you didn't try out any of these hacks yourself.
People make mistakes and failing is a part of life. But when failure happens at work, it's sometimes hard to remember this. You're consumed by the screw up and castigate yourself repeatedly internally. Don't fall into this trap of mentally flogging yourself even when faced with a serious career failure.