How To Fail
The modern world demands one thing above all else: that we succeed. And so the stories we tell ourselves are ones 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’.
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.
How to Fail teaches us about:
- 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’
- 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
- The media’s influence on our understanding of failure and success
How to Fail 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.
6.15 pm Drinks & welcome in our classroom
6.30 pm Class begins (short break included)
9.30 pm Class finishes
‘Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.’
- Coco Chanel
Christian Stenta is an experienced leader in the public sector and social innovation. Over the last 16 years, he's managed social projects in large NGOs, run an inner city welfare centre, mentored over a dozen social start-ups, managed a $1M social investment fund, and ran Australia's first national festival of social change. In 2016, he joined the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria to establish the Victorian Behavioural Insights Unit, and now leads strategy and engagement across Public Sector Reform and Innovation.
In addition to his work in the public sector, Christian is a lead faculty member with The School of Life, developing emotional intelligence through the help of philosophy and culture.