Failure is an Option


For work I analyze global trends and culture to discover the consumer insight or the next opportunity for a brand. I am often asked to  look a the difference between generations…what is unique or different that imprints a collective attitude or trait that becomes unique to  a group because of the time they grew up in? Millennials (as you might have heard) are often considered part of the digital natives. When you grow up wired and connected, where technology is seamlessly integrated into your life, it becomes more a natural instinct than a new thing to incorporate into your life or learn.

One thing pretty much all Millennials grew up with is video games …both boys and girls. Who didn’t have a Gameboy? And the thing about the games is that is that when you fail…you are simply excited to start over and go further. So why not apply this to real life?  Take any failure as a chance to learn, and re-apply. Game over, start over, get to the next level. This works in real life too.

“Don’t fear failure” is the mantra of so many 40-something women I talk to. It builds rather than erodes confidence if you put it in the right perspective. Failing is how you learn and figure out how to do it better or decide to go with a different strategy to get to your end goal. If anyone is ready to get a head start on learning that lesson it is the 20-somethings today. Fear not failure…consider it the new ambition.


Fun fact: Jane McGonigal, a game designer and TED speaker, estimates that by the age of 21, the average Millennial has spent over 10,000 hours playing video games.  This is equal to the amount of time the Millennial spent in school from 5th to 12th grade.

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