Perseverance: Failure vs. Quitting

“It’s okay to fail.” I’ve been trying to convince students (and myself!) of this truism for years. After all, failure is just a step, not the end.

However, it never quite rang true for me, and I could tell it never sank in with my students.

This summer I had the opportunity to hear Joel Salatin speak. Salatin is a successful farmer in Virginia, and has written many books about his experiences to help other farmers learn from his mistakes and successes. During his talk, he made this statement,

“The opposite of success is not failure. It’s quitting.”

Now that’s a sentiment I can stand on and feel comfortable teaching students…. Didn’t succeed this time? Don’t quit!

One more piece of wisdom from Salatin:

“How many of you have heard someone tell you, ‘If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.’ Actually, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly first.” We are all learning, and some things require us doing them poorly at first. Then we can do them better the next time, and the time after that, and the time after that…