​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.

Should you defend the free speech rights of neo-Nazis?

Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
  • In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Designers from Luxembourg created a smart planter that can make anyone have a green thumb.

Images credit: mu-design
Technology & Innovation
  • A design team came up with a smart planter that can indicate 15 emotions.
  • The emotions are derived from the sensors placed in the planter.
  • The device is not in production yet but you can order it through a crowdfunding campaign.
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If you don't want to know anything about your death, consider this your spoiler warning.

Culture & Religion
  • For centuries cultures have personified death to give this terrifying mystery a familiar face.
  • Modern science has demystified death by divulging its biological processes, yet many questions remain.
  • Studying death is not meant to be a morbid reminder of a cruel fate, but a way to improve the lives of the living.
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Big Think Edge
  • Often times, interactions that we think are "zero-sum" can actually be beneficial for both parties.
  • Ask, What outcome will be good for both parties? How can we achieve that goal?
  • Afraid the win-win situation might not continue? Build trust by creating a situation that increases the probability you and your counterpart will meet again.