what have you failed at this week?

I love to learn.

You can often find me down a rabbit hole on the internet, clicking on various links, Twitter feeds, and blogger’s ideas — looking to learn and grow. Today I came upon something that stopped my browsing and clicking cold.

“What have you failed at this week?”

One of the blogs I read featured this question – a question that motivated entrepreneur Sara Blakely (of Spanx fame) to become who she is today.

Promptly I ran to my white board and scratched the question between my senior photo gallery and sports team pictures.

“What have you failed at this week?”

As an achiever, I often ask myself what I accomplished, completed, or checked off my list for the day. But I never ask myself how I failed.

I guess we’re programmed…well, I KNOW we are programmed to look for the SUCCESS: what we’ve done well. And as a pretty optimistic person, I don’t often look for failure.

I started thinking about one of my big mishap adventures — the time I lost a million dollars on a game show — and nodded to myself, yeah, that was a failure in my eyes.

But THIS WEEK? Who would ADMIT to that?

I continued reading in the article and saw the phrase “LEAD WITH FAILURE” — and I remembered all of the times I told my students never to be afraid of failure: failure was how we learned. Failure was the only path to success.

I was encouraging them to fail

while silently refusing to fail myself.

I wasn’t taking my own advice.

But it’s not JUST how I failed. I would like to make an addendum to that question. It’s what I CHOOSE to do with that failure. So here’s my new question:

What will I do with failure this week?

I’m gonna mess up. But I need to name it, recognize it, and then do something with it so that I can continue to grow and learn every day.

I am so excited to launch into this next school year and continue to grow as an educator – but also as a human. When I learn, I open myself up to leading others to learn, modeling failure and growth as another step in this best day ever adventure.

Ah, life. Learning is valued here.