Failures can be opportunities to learn if we let them.

Operative word: let.

Conductor, and co-author (alongside his partner, Rosamund) of The Art of Possibility, Ben Zander, suggests we respond to failure with two words to get us in a learning state of mind: “how fascinating!”

In an interview with Typeform, Zander explains his reasoning: “[Saying ‘how fascinating’] lightens everything up. The problem is the weight we put on failure and the weight we put on success, and it dominates our life, our psychology, and our relationships.”

Instead of meeting failures with disappointment, try meeting them with a deep sense of curiosity.

On the surface, failure may only come across as an unfortunate event. But within it is almost always a lesson — knowledge that you can put into practice to do amazing things in the future.



William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (