Learn the key ideas of the book by Elizabeth Day

How to Fail

Follow the example of others to avoid failure

Who can honestly say that they have never faced failure in their life? How can a negative experience be transformed into a time for growth? In How to Fail, Elizabeth Day tells us about a life marked by moments that may seem like failures, but that actually brought on great lessons. Failure can lead us to learn things that we would never have known otherwise, and we can discover how to grow by facing failure in a positive way.

How to Fail
Read in 11 min.
Listen in 14 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Help those who have experienced moments of failure in their lives.
  • Recognize that failure is not a destination, but a stage on the road.
  • Learn how to transform a negative experience into a strength.

The author of the book:

Elizabeth Day is an English journalist and writer who collaborated with The Observer from 2007 to 2016, and has published four novels. Her life is marked by what she initially experienced as a series of failures - a messy divorce and several unsuccessful fertility treatments among other things. In 2018, she decided to launch the podcast "How to fail with Elizabeth Day", in which she invited famous people to discuss how the various failures they faced in life have helped them learn and grow. The present book is based on her podcast.


Failure as a life experience from which to learn

From a very young age, we all experience, one way or another, what could be seen as failures. By instinct, we have a tendency to bring ourselves down, to see failure as the negative conclusion of a certain experience.

When confronted with failure, we may at first not see that these experiences are a plethora of lessons to be learnt. The mistakes we make don’t only teach us not to repeat them: they are food for thought. The emotions linked to the feeling of failure harden our character, making us better and better at handling this type of situation.


The key ideas of "How to Fail"

Failure as a life experience from which to learn
How social media has changed our perception of success (and failure)
Why do men and women experience (and remember) failure very differently?
Why can failing at fitting in when we are younger, help us as adults?
Why taking too many tests can have a negative impact
Why understanding the role of celebrities on social media is important
Why it's important to learn to say "no"
Why anger is a more complex feeling than it seems
Why "success" is not the opposite of "failure"
Take-home message

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