fail, fail again, fail better
by Pema Chödrön
This was an elegant short book with two main sections: the first is a transcript of a commencement address that the author, an American-born Buddhist nun, delivered to the 2014 graduating class at Naropa University, and the second is a transcript of a follow-up interview that delves further into the topic.
Both sections were good, although I enjoyed the first part better. The commencement address was more elegantly written and more beautifully laid out and had a feeling of something in between poetry and prose. The interview delved more into Chödrön’s person life experiences and how they effected and were effected by her thoughts on failure.
The thoughts really come down to:
- Failure is always possible but do not allow fear of failure to stop you.
- It is important to acknowledge that a failure is a failure rather than pretending it isn’t, to either yourself or others.
- Examine each failure to determine why it happened and allow it to be a learning experience without focusing on blame: either of yourself or others.
- Failures range from minor to devastating but they are always external actions: you can fail, but you cannot be a failure.
None of these thoughts are particularly unique or anything I haven’t run across before, but they’re important and well worth being reminded of on a semi-regular basis.