Tagged With failure

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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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.

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"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.

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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.

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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.)

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In a perfect world, nothing bad would ever happen to anybody. On the other hand, some misfortunes can help to make you a better person. All of these experiences build empathy, teach a lesson, or make you appreciate the good things in life.

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Do you know that sinking feeling when you look at what you’ve created and think your work totally sucks? When you’re learning a new skill, you need to realise that giving yourself permission to be terrible -- for a while -- will eventually foster better learning.

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Do you know that sinking feeling when you look at what you've created and think your work totally sucks? When you're learning a new skill, you need to realise that giving yourself permission to be terrible -- for a while -- will eventually foster better learning.

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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.