Why success always starts with failure

Here is the presentation I used for WHS’s four house assemblies this week.  The theme was based around the idea of ‘why success always starts with failure’.  Due to being a little cheap and not wanting to spend £20 per month on a SlideShare plus account, I could not embed the videos (found on slide 5 & slide 9) into the SlideShare conversion below.

Please feel free to use or adapt the presentation and videos to suit your classroom or assembly needs 

Here is a breakdown of the presentation (where it is not obvious):

Slide 2 & 3: Here I spoke about how babies learn to walk.  Do they just stand up one day and start strolling about with confidence? Of course not! They make thousands of tiny little errors, standing up, wobbling and falling down repeatedly until they finally learn from these little errors and take their first controlled steps unassisted.  It is essentially trial and error coupled with Darwin’s variation and selection.  I then linked learning to walk to Henry Ford’s superb quote, ”failure is the opportunity to start again more intelligently”

Slide 4:  Michael Jordan’s well known statistics from his hugely successful NBA career.

Slide 5:  Michael Jordan’s ‘Failure’ commercial for Nike (please see the first video below).

Slide 6: Michael Jordan’s lesser known, but more important statistics of failure, that catapulted him to his extensive successes.

Slide 7: The Natural Talent Fallacy.  Here I tried to persuade the students that success was in fact due to thousands of hours of deliberate practice (10, 000 hour rule) as researched by K. Anders Ericsson and made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in ‘Outliers’ and Matthew Syed in his book ‘Bounce’ and not natural talent.  I also referred to the research of Carol S Dweck and her growth mindset theory.

Slide 8: Sir James Dyson.  Here I asked the students ‘when do you give up when things get tough?’ It took Sir Dyson 15 years and 5,126 attempts before he created his first Dyson.  I asked them do they feel they have resilience in abundance?

Slide 9:  Aaron Fotheringham’s Wheelchair Double Backflip.  Bouncebackability.  Literally.  Both painful and inspirational (please see the second video below).

Slide 10:  My two favourite questions.  You should ask yourself these questions on a daily basis!

Slide 11:  My all time favourite quote from Samuel Beckett.  I told the students that if they were to take one thing away from this assembly that it should be the two words ‘Fail better’!

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