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Day 28: The Upside Of Down

“Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.” Anne Sullivan

Learning to get back up again after we fall is the one of the pillars in the foundation of positivity. It doesn’t’ matter what you are trying to do, life will hand you some setbacks and sometimes flat-on-your-face failures. Some of the most accomplished people throughout history suffered huge failures on their way to eventual success. Imagine Beethoven, who was told that he was a hopeless composer and then after falling deaf, still managed to write some of the most beautiful music ever written. Abraham Lincoln lost several elections and had a nervous breakdown before being elected president and abolishing slavery. Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and suffered some huge losses against the Nazis. Although he abruptly lost his office after the war, he is still considered England’s greatest wartime leader.


Michael Jordan, one of the most winning basketball players of all time was quoted saying: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot, and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life�’and that is why I succeed.” This truth applies to all of us, a fact that is supported by several important research studies that demonstrate that people who view their failures as a chance to learn and improve themselves actually build and strengthen neural pathways in the brain.

Whether you see your intelligence and capacity as fixed or expandable has a lot to do with how you react to failure. According to Carol Dweck’s Mindset, it is enough just to believe that you can work harder and improve at whatever task you are trying to accomplish. Maintaining the mindset of a learner not only shapes your feelings about risking and failing, but actually develops your brain. It gives you one of the keys to positive thinking- resilience.

I agree with Mel Ziegler when he said, “By seeing the seed of failure in every success, we remain humble. By seeing the seed of success in every failure we remain hopeful.”