​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge to access the best learning online.

As Malcolm Gladwell – author of numerous New York Times bestselling books – points out, mastery and popularity are sometimes linked, but often they are not. If your goal is to become masterful at what you do, the formula is really quite simple: Stay focused and do your time. This is the theory behind the '10,000 hours' rule that Gladwell made famous. Worrying about whether you're being recognized for your efforts, i.e. popularity, is a product of the ego, not to mention a distraction... so get over yourself and get to work!

Subscribe to Big Think Edge to learn first-hand from Malcolm Gladwell about the two types of failure and why it is so valuable to be able to tell them apart.

Check your inner critic, Malcolm Gladwell style

Failure is a spectrum. At one end is "the kind of failure that afflicts people who are good at what they do and the other is the kind of failure that afflicts people who are inexperienced, who are not good at what they do," says Gladwell.

Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge. This valuable lesson is one everyone should hear: It will help diagnose your feelings about failure as well as the root cause, either freeing you up to move forward productively, or putting you on a course to avoid failure a second time.

Subscribe to Big Think Edge to learn high-value skills from experts like Malcolm Gladwell, John Cleese, Bryan Cranston, Liv Boeree, Sallie Krawcheck, Nick Offerman + more.

A still from the film "We Became Fragments" by Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller, part of the Global Oneness Project library.

Photo: Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller / Global Oneness Project
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
  • Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
  • Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
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