What Makes Failures Great Learning Experiences
Related Videos
Most Recent
Most Viewed


In Chapter 8 of 18 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, public affairs and communications strategist Matt Curtis answers "Why are Failures More Meaningful Learning Experiences Than Successes?" Curtis recalls a political campaign where one of his favorite candidates lost the race due to one small error. He notes how losing the race ultimately amplified the learning experience for those involved with the campaign.


Erik: Why are failures more meaningful learning experiences than successes? Matt: Man, you know, I’m a big believer in that because I think that you fail and you just stew over that failure, and you’re like what could I have done differently, and man, do you learn from it because it smacks you in the ass and you don’t have a choice but to learn from it. One of my favorite candidates for office was a small office that kind of ran a perfect race, absolutely beautiful. They made one small error, just one, not a big deal. And it didn’t – it was just the right error, at the right time, at the right momentum. You know, it’s just like body surfing. You know, you just – you do the wrong thing, you’re not swimming at the right speed, you stick your hand at the wrong time, it totally mucks up your body riding on the crest of this wave. That guy who lost that race, he’s sitting around just stewing about what they could have done differently, and it was a small, small thing, and anybody associated with that race which included me, they just stew about could have been. You know, you win and you start to become fat and happy. You know, it starts getting real easy. Oh I won, you know, and you forget about what it’s like to lose. But you lose, you’re gonna learn a lot from it.