By Shelley Davidow, Paul Williams
We all spend much of our lives trying to cope with failure; sometimes we try to assign value to it, but failure looms as a debilitating concept in millions of lives, affecting children and adults alike. Fail Brilliantly proposes a radical shift: erase the word and concept of failure from the realms of education and human endeavors. Replace it with new words and concepts. This shift in position has the potential to transform our lives and ultimately reshape our definition of success.
"There is no magical formula for dealing with failure, but . . . this book provides you with the MOST useful tools to do just that. A resource that should find itself in the hands of any person who is serious about dealing with this thing we call failure."
—Peter Pretorius, one of the world's first paraplegic flight instructors
"Vividly written and immensely intriguing . . . I join Davidow and Williams in their outstanding effort to present failures as opportunities for continued learning and problem solving that can successfully combat the shame, anxiety, and blame that failing induces too readily in our society."
—Laurie Hollman, PhD, psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior
"Feel like a failure? According to Fail Brilliantly, you're not alone. In a comprehensive and insightful look at what success means in our society, Davidow and Williams, delve deep into research behind measures of failure, with some surprising insights.
By the world’s standards, I could have been deemed a 'failure' for most of my adult life; struggling to make ends meet while raising eight children. A meager income as a freelance writer and a staggering mound of rejections might have convinced someone less determined to abandon all hope of ever becoming a 'real' writer. Instead, repeated rejections served to motivate me. The authors would call this an 'unexpected outcome' of the struggles I faced as a fledgling writer. With five books and hundreds of published articles, I’m now taken seriously as a writer. Evidently, according to this wonderful book, I 'failed brilliantly' and you can too."
—Mary Potter Kenyon, librarian, public speaker, community college instructor, and award-winning author of Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace
"If we are lucky, complete and utter failure is part of a life well-lived. We dream big, we live big, we fail . . . sometimes spectacularly. Davidow and Williams remind us that it is not the falling but the rising that makes the journey. Triumph can be born of tragedy. Disappointment may breed wisdom and grace. A must-read for anyone trying to bloom where they have fallen."
—Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh, author of Here Be Dragons: A Parent’s Guide to Rediscovering Purpose, Adventure, and the Unfathomable Joy of the Journey.
"Nobody wants to fail. Nobody wants to be seen as anything less than a success story, a shining example of what to do, not what NOT to do. To be labeled a failure is like a scarlet letter, a branding that follows you around, one that scorches your very soul. The fact that failure is a part of learning, that without failure, one could never find faults and make things better . . . well, that’s not part of the usual narrative, is it?
But the usual narrative needs to change. And Fail Brilliantly might be the way to proceed from here.
Fail Brilliantly is not the usual pablum about embracing failure as part of the process or ignoring failure entirely in order to craft some oblique optimistic worldview. Instead, this is a book about acknowledging that there are different kinds of failure, figuring out how to handle them, and reframing the idea of failure itself. After all, who the hell wants to go through life if 'pass/fail' is the only metric to be graded by?
A quick read but a worthwhile one, Fail Brilliantly not only helps tackle the problem, but it helps you develop the skills to provide better solutions in the future."
—Manhattan Book Review