How to Fail - Virtual Class

What is ‘How to Fail’?

How to Fail is a 2.5 hour class by The School of Life which takes place regularly in our virtual classroom over Zoom. It is one of 12 classes around our 4 core themes: Love, Work, Self and Culture. Further information on how to connect to the class will be made available once you have purchased a ticket.




Why should I attend?

The modern world places immense pressure on us to succeed, leading us to tell ourselves that we have to constantly strive, overcome huge obstacles and win in all areas of our lives. The unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves seldom allow us to realise that we will - of course - fail in some areas of our lives, particularly in our careers - and that failing well is therefore a skill we need to learn above most others.

Many of us know how to prepare for success but we very rarely endeavour to confront failure as we should: with dignity, understanding, wisdom – and perhaps on occasion, a touch of humour.

What will I learn?

How to Fail teaches us:

  • How to understand the sickness of ‘perfectionism’: , where it comes from and how we might best respond to it
  • Our parents: what they wanted and how we fear disappointing them
  • What lies at the heart of the dread of failing, especially as it relates to a loss of status and dignity
  • What it means to fail ‘well’ – accepting our limitations without becoming bitter
  • The real statistics of success; and how good we are at denying them
  • The Ancient Greek idea of noble failure and the Zen Buddhist notion of good imperfection
  • And the media’s influence on our understanding of failure and success

The format of this class is highly interactive and involves a combination of teaching, group discussion and individual reflection. The facilitators of the class aim to create a confidential space where all participants are welcome to contribute freely and comfortably. If you have any questions about the format of the class please get in touch at

Morning/Afternoon/ Evening Classes -  All timings are in GMT

This event is being streamed globally, please use a time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

Dates and times are available to book below. New dates for this class are added throughout the year.

For more information, please see our London FAQs or contact

Classroom Testimonials

‘Beautifully explored and explained; kudos to the lecturer; great job; look forward to coming back.’

‘Thoughtful and thought-provoking, good to help with self-knowledge. Feel really comfortable to speak up and contribute. Positive and safe space to speak up.’

‘A great session; thought the exercises were really good and liked meeting the other group attendees; thank you.’ 

Buy tickets for
How to Fail - Virtual Class

£40 Friends | £55 Standard (plus fees)

When and where:
  • Thu 27 Jan 2022 6.30pm GMT
    Virtual (Zoom)
  • Wed 23 Feb 2022 2.30pm GMT
    Virtual (Zoom)
  • Tue 15 Mar 2022 6.30pm GMT
  • Thu 31 Mar 2022 9.30am BST