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Who should you listen to about failure?

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Yesterday, I talked about 3 unconventional insights about failure.

Today, watch as I teach you how others use “failure” to manipulate people into liking them.

It would be EASY for me to write a post about how I failed at something…then had a flash of inspiration…and now look at me! And you can do it, too!

Here, watch:


“When I was in my 20s, I made so many bad financial decisions, I eventually found myself getting screamed at by a bill collector in front of my neighbors. It was so embarrassing! I had to go bankruptcy court and plead with the judge. At that moment, I realized I’d hit rock bottom. There was nothing else to do but change my life — so that’s what I did. Step by step, I got my way out of debt, until here I am in front of my own private plane.”

ramitplaneLook at how great my life is, said 5mm annoying writers everywhere. Just kill me.

Such a classic American story. Notice how riveting the story is — how you almost can’t pry your eyes away. Why is that? What does a good old classic failure story do to us?

I’ve failed at a TON of things. And a lot of us have gone through failures.

But I think there are deeper lessons to be learned than the typical “I-fell-down-then-picked-myself-up-rah-rah-rah” story.

Today, I want to talk about REAL failure. Not just a gimmicky story, but how to think about and USE failure in a strategic way.

In short:

  • BAD: Avoid failure at all costs, never doing anything new or challenging. Or, like 500 life coaches this week, write posts about how you’ve accepted your past failures…BUT NEVER ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY!
  • GOOD: Accept failure, plan for it, and strategically use failure to never make the same mistake twice.
  • BEST: Choose carefully whom you listen to about failure. In plain English, do not listen to failures who give you life advice. Take advice from people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish.

Let me be very clear: Anyone can offer you advice. But it’s up to you to decide whose advice you take. Put another way, it’s great to relate to people who have failed. But do you also seek out masters of their craft and study them?

Do you examine your own failures and try to eliminate them?

For example, what’s something you’re doing NOW that you would have been afraid to do 2 years ago? (Mine: Skydiving, powerlifting.) If the answer is “nothing,” are you growing?

Another example: If given the chance to wear an “anti-fear” cape, how many of us would put it on and try the things we’ve always wanted to try? And yet, because no such thing exists, we tell ourselves stories to rationalize: “I don’t have time to [learn a new language, backpack across Europe, change my diet, talk to that cute girl/guy at Starbucks].” So we don’t.

Year after year after year until we wonder where our life went.

Go ask your parents today — “If you could tell your 20- or 30-something self something, what would you tell them?”

They will tell you how they wish they would have tried MORE things instead of being afraid of what other people thought.

I think there’s a better way. We can learn from people who have failed, but dusted themselves off and learned from their failures…and they went on to succeed.

The guy to talk to about failure is A.J. Jacobs.

ajjacobssmallYou are going to love this. Read on.

When I met A.J., who told me he fails more than 50% of the time, I knew we’d be friends.

A.J. is Editor-at-large at Esquire and best-selling author of Drop Dead Healthy, My Life as an Experiment, The Know-It-All, and The Year of Living Biblically.

That’s why I Invited him to my studio for an exclusive 1-on-1 talk about EXACTLY how he approaches failure, including how he manages to try all kinds of insane life experiments, how he gets his family and friends on board, and the doors that his approach has opened up.

In our session:

  1. We chat about the power of “failing forward,” and how failure leads to success
  2. A.J. and I both love experimentation, so we dive deep into experiments that we’ve used to build our confidence, remove creative blocks, and more

You’ll learn in the full video:

  • The hidden value of failure — and how to turn your failures into successes starting today (but avoid people who mindlessly fail again and again and learn nothing)
  • The exercise A.J. does every day to train his brain to create winning ideas
  • A 15-minute trick you can use in the comfort of your own home to build your confidence immediately
  • The hilarious story behind why a single photo ruined A.J.’s first book deal
  • A powerful life philosophy from George Clooney that can increase your happiness

And much more.

Here’s a sneak peek:

This interview is ONLY available to members of my Brain Trust program. Whether you join or not, I know you’ll enjoy the video — and I want you to think about how you can stop avoiding your fears and start using them to succeed.

Sign up below to join the wait list and learn more about Brain Trust


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