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3 Recognize Failure as the Lifeblood of Success

We can take a variety of roads in the pursuit of success. One obvious route is to work toward a goal as unerringly as possible until it is achieved. Success is measured by our clear progress toward this end. Failure is not only left out of the equation but it is avoided above all else. It is seen as incompatible with success.

Unfortunately, this all too dominant perspective can create some real problems in terms of our ability to learn, to grow, and to take the necessary risks we need to be fully alive. In his book The Active Life, noted author Parker Palmer powerfully addresses this concern. He points out that in the West our fixation on success (or what he refers to as “instrumental action”): ...

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