My current emphasis: how to make good habits and break bad ones (really)

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Enjoy the Fun of Failure.

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I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in — no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.

I’m very competitive, and perfectionist, and also insecure, and I hate, hate, hate the feeling of failure — but I know that failure is a necessary part of creativity, of risk-taking, of aiming high. I remind myself that if I’m not failing, I’m not trying hard enough.

So one of my happiness-project resolutions is to “Enjoy the fun of failure.” I really think that repeating this idea over and over has helped me to be more light-hearted about taking risks.

According to the First Splendid Truth, to be happy, we should think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth. Happiness research confirms that people get a big boost from learning new skills and from novel experiences, which provide that atmosphere of growth. However, while novelty and challenge bring happiness, along the way, they also bring frustration, insecurity, anger, fear…happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.

Once when I wrote about the “fun of failure,” someone responded, “Don’t think about it as failure! Re-cast it in your mind as something different,” etc. My first reaction was to agree, but then I realized — no. I don’t want to pretend that I’m not failing; I want to embrace failure.

For example, I’m thrilled because I was recently invited to become a YouTube Partner, and I’m excited about doing a much better job with putting my weekly videos on YouTube. But while I’m looking forward to improving my YouTube channel, I also dread the process of figuring out how to do that, because I know it will mean frustration, “wasted” time, feeling stupid, and mistakes along the way. In the end, though, I’m confident that I’ll feel very happy that I tackled this new, challenging task. I keep reminding myself to “Enjoy the fun of failure.”

How about you? Do you avoid failure? How do you encourage yourself to risk failure?

* Check out this one-minute video — a crazy optical illusion with burning candles.

* Are you looking for a good book to read to start your summer? Please consider The Happiness Project (can’t resist mentioning: #1 New York Times bestseller).
Order your copy.
Read sample chapters.
Watch the one-minute book-trailer.
Listen to a sample of the audiobook.