A guide to the art of failing well—with actionable tips and a gentle approach
This is a hopeful, consoling, gentle book about failure. Our societies talk a lot about success, but the reality is that no one gets through life without failing – in small and usually also in large ways. Sometimes our failures are very obvious, at other times, we feel we have to conceal them out of shame. This book encourages us to accept the role that failure plays for all of us and to feel compassion for ourselves for the messes we can’t help but make as we go through our lives.
Full of actionable tips on how to approach life's inevitable failures from small to large, this is the perfect volume for anyone who has ever gone through a breakup, suffered a career crisis, made enemies, fumbled a project, or wasted their time. (In other words: everyone.)
There is nothing more human than failing—and nothing wiser and more necessary failing well.
- PRAGMATIC ADVICE ON how to be resilient and endure regret, so we can recover and move on from despair and catastrophe.
- WE ARE NOT ALONE explores various examples of real-world failure and reminds us that we are not alone in making mistakes.
- EMPATHETIC AND REAL written from the perspective of those who have failed and survived their failure.
- CHAPTERS INCLUDE How to Deal with the Meanness of the World, What Love Really Is and Why It Matters, Finding Perspective, Fear and Self-Hatred, and Self-Compassion.
Part I: Real World Failure
i. The Many Types of Failure
ii. Should I Kill Myself?
iii. How to Deal with the Meanness of the World
iv. How to Deal with the Meanness of the Media
v. How to Live with Your Hamartia
vi. How to Deal with the Pity of Friends
vii. How to Deal with the Success of Friends
viii. A Life Devoid of Narcissism
ix. Living with Permanent Infamy
x. What Love Really Is and Why It Matters
xi. Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone
xii. Bourgeois Respectability
xiii. Practical Measures
xv. Finding Perspective
xvi. The Downfall of Oscar Wilde
xvii. A New Attitude
xviii. A Utopian Commune
xix. Losers as Winners
Part II: The Fear of Failure
i. Failure Imagined
ii. Fear and Soothing
iii. Fear and Self-hatred
iv. Trauma and Fearfulness
v. Fear and Money
vi. Fear and Fame
vii. Impostor Syndrome
viii. The Benefits of a Breakdown
ix. Fear and Paranoia
x. On Not Thinking Straight
xii. A Less Pressured Life
xiii. Thinking of the Worst
"[This book is] totally insightful and helpful." - NetGalley review
"[A] quick, provocative, albeit at times cynical read that is especially relevant to those struggling with a recent or past failure experience. [...] [T]his book will certainly help you think through the nature, implications, and possible interventions for addressing failure." - NetGalley review
"I appreciate the way that it takes a multi-dimensional look at failure with historical and literary references throughout, as well as tangible ideas in a modern way of dealing with failure." - NetGalley review