A Letter To Youths: The Price Of Failure

It’s always good to talk about dreams and goals with someone who shares the same passion as you do. Recently this thought struck me while I was having a discussion with my friend. “Why are people so afraid to fail?” What is the price of failure? I feel that too many of us do not understand that the price of failure has fallen and will keep falling. Maybe it’s because our nation (Singapore) is a relatively young nation and the price of failure in the past was HUGE! One mistake and you will be severely punished because we couldn’t afford to fail at such an early stage. I believe it’s not so much about being able to afford the price of failure or not, but the culture of not wanting to take a risk has slowly crept in and been embedded in our mindset (Gen X).

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We are moving into an age where we can afford to fail and should learn how to fail forward rather than to avoid it completely. However, many of us are still stuck with the old mindset passed down from our parents that we cannot afford to fail. Have we even calculated the cost of failure to reach such an assumption – That we cannot afford to fail?

The opportunities available to us today is definitely way more than the opportunities our parents had in the past that was why they were so risk averse. In fact, if we observe carefully, we are beginning to be rewarded for being innovative. This means risking failure, but yet being rewarded for having an entrepreneurial spirit. This is lacking in our society. To move forward, we can’t simply play it safe anymore. We need to get out there and be prepared to fall down, scrape our knees, get back up and grab the opportunities that is all around us!

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If you have a passion for something, go do it. Stop thinking about what if you fail. Think about what if it works! What’s the worst that could happen pursuing something on the sideline? At least you could boast and say that you’ve been there and done that. If you’re more afraid to fail than to live out your dream and passion, are you even living or just trying to find a place in society to fit in? Get out there and do your thing! The world is your oyster!

Just a heads-up, while the Gen X is playing safe, the Millennials are the ones being brought up to embrace failure and to take it positively. Who do you think will be bossing you around in the next 20-30 years? The price of playing it safe might just be higher than the price of failure. Think again!

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5 thoughts on “A Letter To Youths: The Price Of Failure

  1. an interesting post on failure.
    my thoughts are not that people are afraid of failure but those who failed (including myself) pretty miserably are not given a platform to share their valuable lessons to the benefit of others. Unlike in the West, failing is part of the culture and commonly embraced. Here, say you try becoming a F&B cafe, if after 1 year, it did not work out, you probably have lost two to three hundred thousands easily.

    Some might find it unattractive to start all over again as they have better options – like a stable job….
    In my case, I have always love doing business but have failed several times,went back to corporate only to quit a few years as the bug kept hitting me…..While i have yet to succeed the level I want, I look upon failure as being part of the journey and not the end. It provides feedback for improvement, period. Putting too much emotions digress the matter and complicate things as well.

    All the best to you !

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    1. Hello!
      Indeed you make a very good point. There isn’t a proper platform to share valuable lessons from entrepreneurs like yourself! The entrepreneurship spirit is definitely in you, so encouraging! I agree, failure only provides feedback for improvement. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” We need to learn to fail forward! Thank you for sharing your story! All the best to your success!

      Cheers,
      Aloysius Lee

      Like

  2. Hi Aloypro,

    Good article. Failure is the best antidote to moving forward.

    You fail, take one step backwards, reflect and learn, and take two or more steps forward the next time.

    Like

  3. When it comes to a positive failure attitude it might help to listen more to the age-experienced. And so many surveys have shown that we do regret not having done something so much more than having done something and failed at it. So, the only real failure is not to try.

    Do you know any ‘successful’ person who has never failed before in their life?

    Failure is a natural part of any learning process (how have you learned how to walk?).

    Failure is simply an opportunity to begin the next attempt more intelligently with more experience. I view failure as an asset.

    And luckily there is no test to hand in at the end of life, so there is no way to fail.

    As Winston Churchill put it: “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

    Liked by 1 person

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