How to Fail

The modern world demands one thing above all else: that we succeed. The stories we tell ourselves are around striving, overcoming huge odds and eventually winning, normally in some important sector of the economy. Society has a particularly harsh word reserved for those who don’t make it. They are – society says - ‘losers’.

However, the greatest likelihood is that we’re going to fail in some area of our lives or another, especially in the professional sphere (the focus of this class is particularly on failure in relation to work).

Our society knows so much about preparing for success; and yet it pays recklessly little attention to the far more likely and urgent matter: how we can handle failure with dignity, understanding, wisdom – and perhaps a touch of humour.

This class looks at the topic across philosophy, psychology, art and religion, as well as probing into our own emotions and backgrounds. We consider:

  • The perfectionist drive in the modern world, where it comes from and how best to 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.

This class seeks to equip us with the tools to handle failure on our own terms – which is a success of its own. We leave with a grown-up understanding of what we are up against and a consoling impression of the universality of reversal, imperfection and a degree of melancholy. No life is free of failure, and so we realise that failing well is an art all of its own – one of the most necessary we could ever learn.

TIMETABLE

09.40     Welcome & Coffee
10.00     Class commences
11.15     Break 
12.30     Session finishes

TIMETABLE

09.40     Welcome & Coffee
10.00     Class commences
11.15     Break 
12.30     Session finishes

TIMETABLE

14.10            Welcome & Coffee
14.30            Class commences
15.15            Break (times vary)
17.00            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome appetizers & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

14.10            Welcome & Coffee
14.30            Class commences
15.15            Break (times vary)
17.00            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

09.40     Welcome & Coffee
10.00     Class commences
11.15     Break 
12.30     Session finishes

TIMETABLE

09.40     Welcome & Coffee
10.00     Class commences
11.15     Break 
12.30     Session finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome appetizers & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome appetizers & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome appetizers & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome appetizers & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome appetizers & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome buffet & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome buffet & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome appetizers & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome buffet & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

14.10            Welcome & Coffee
14.30            Class commences
15.15            Break (times vary)
17.00            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome buffet & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

TIMETABLE

09.40     Welcome & Coffee
10.00     Class commences
11.15     Break 
12.30     Session finishes

TIMETABLE

18.40            Welcome appetizers & drinks
19.00            Class commences
20.15            Break (times vary)
21.30            Class finishes

Class Leader 

Sarah Stein Lubrano began work at The School of Life helping create some of the earliest YouTube videos. She has now found a natural home in our content team, where she combines her love of intellectual ideas, emotional wisdom, and creative media. Sarah does research, writing, and design for everything from films to apps to interactive workshops. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from Cambridge University. Prior to joining The School of Life, she made films, and worked as a prison tutor, student welfare officer, and obituary writer.

Class Leader 

Sarah Stein Lubrano began work at The School of Life helping create some of the earliest YouTube videos. She has now found a natural home in our content team, where she combines her love of intellectual ideas, emotional wisdom, and creative media. Sarah does research, writing, and design for everything from films to apps to interactive workshops. She not only creates internal content for The School but also designs bespoke content for clients.

Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from Cambridge University. 

Class Leader 

Sarah Stein Lubrano began work at The School of Life helping create some of the earliest YouTube videos. She has now found a natural home in our content team, where she combines her love of intellectual ideas, emotional wisdom, and creative media. Sarah does research, writing, and design for everything from films to apps to interactive workshops. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from Cambridge University. Prior to joining The School of Life, she made films, and worked as a prison tutor, student welfare officer, and obituary writer.

Class Leader

 Sarah Stein Lubrano began work at The School of Life helping create some of the earliest YouTube videos. She has now found a natural home in our content team, where she combines her love of intellectual ideas, emotional wisdom, and creative media.  Sarah does research, writing, and design for everything from films to apps to interactive workshops. She not only creates internal content for The School but also designs bespoke content for clients.

Class Leader 

Deamion Broni was born in Manchester. He moved to London to study Business Management (Bsc,) at King's College. He has worked in varies roles spanning multiple industries including as a project manager in the Third Sector, a patient advocate for the NHS providing peer support and advice.  He currently works as a consultant facilitator of Wellbeing Workshops endorsing self care and self management. Deamion is also a performer, having previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) The Globe and The National Theatre, and a TV travel presenter focusing on design, architecture and fashion.

Class Leader 

Sarah Stein Lubrano began work at The School of Life helping create some of the earliest YouTube videos. She has now found a natural home in our content team, where she combines her love of intellectual ideas, emotional wisdom, and creative media. Sarah does research, writing, and design for everything from films to apps to interactive workshops. She not only creates internal content for The School but also designs bespoke content for clients.

Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from Cambridge University. 

Class Leader

 Sarah Stein Lubrano began work at The School of Life helping create some of the earliest YouTube videos. She has now found a natural home in our content team, where she combines her love of intellectual ideas, emotional wisdom, and creative media.  Sarah does research, writing, and design for everything from films to apps to interactive workshops. She not only creates internal content for The School but also designs bespoke content for clients.

Class Leader 

Maurits Kalff is a psychologist, coach, trainer and magistrate, based in London. His coaching psychology practice works in both the public and private sector; working with people living with chronic illness to investment bankers; Maurits' focus is on quality of life, fulfilling careers and relationships.

Class Leader

Barney Whiter has a degree in economics, and qualified as a chartered accountant before spending 20 years working in corporate finance for firms including KPMG and McKinsey.

Class Tutor

Barney Whiter has a degree in economics, and qualified as a chartered accountant before spending 20 years working in corporate finance for firms including KPMG and McKinsey.

Class Leader 

Deamion Broni was born in Manchester. He moved to London to study Business Management (Bsc,) at King's College. He has worked in varies roles spanning multiple industries including as a project manager in the Third Sector, a patient advocate for the NHS providing peer support and advice.  He currently works as a consultant facilitator of Wellbeing Workshops endorsing self care and self management. Deamion is also a performer, having previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) The Globe and The National Theatre, and a TV travel presenter focusing on design, architecture and fashion.

Class Tutor

Barney Whiter has a degree in economics, and qualified as a chartered accountant before spending 20 years working in corporate finance for firms including KPMG and McKinsey. After escaping the City and achieving financial independence, he now writes about the psychology of money with the aim of demystifying it and helping people achieve financial freedom.

Class Leader

Sarah Stein Lubrano began work at The School of Life helping create some of the earliest YouTube videos. She has now found a natural home in our content team, where she combines her love of intellectual ideas, emotional wisdom, and creative media.  Sarah does research, writing, and design for everything from films to apps to interactive workshops. She not only creates internal content for The School but also designs bespoke content for clients.

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How to Fail is one of the twelve classes that comprise our core curriculum. Our classes tackle the core themes of emotional life, from relationships and the workplace, to understanding the self and exploring our relationship with culture. You can explore the full curriculum here.

This class is in a sequence with How to Identify Your Career Potential and How to Be Confident which together cover The School of Life's ideas on work.

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How to Fail

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    Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers less than 10 days before the event.