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  • Writer's pictureLauren L. Murphy

Thin Space No. 27: Success Training

The Question

How do you define “failure”?


The Intention



The Meditative Moment

We tend to measure progress by success: awards won, medals earned, money in the bank, more done than the day before. No one enjoys failing. And yet, we fail. We fail to love as much as we can, to take that walk after dinner, to say the kind thing, to get that project in on time, to make something perfect. We fail. Often people with anxiety are perfectionists: we struggle with the idea that something will be less than perfect. In such cases, progress might look like failure to others: getting okay with leaving something undone for a bit, acknowledging mistakes, letting done be better than perfect. The movie maker Kevin Smith refers to failure as “success training.” Oh, I love that. Failure might just be a step on the journey. It doesn’t have to be detrimental, devastating, or diminishing. Consider a way you’ve failed lately. How might it pave the way for success?

Burren, Ireland

Originally sent August 27, 2023, to paid Substack subscribers. If you want to receive current Thin Space reflections, you can start a paid subscription here: You can choose to pay $75/year or $8/month.

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