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Day 5 - Transition Work

Task 5 asks you to reflect on your mind set and then take inspiration from some famous “failures”.

American journalist Dan Coyle argues that mistakes are information. He says that those who have become brilliant at something have got better at it because they have made a lot of mistakes and they have paid attention to their mistakes and drawn the learning out of them.

So failure is an important part of how you are going to success. Some students hate it: it can make you feel embarrassed, humiliated, worthless. They hide mistakes, don’t complete or skip homework so they can avoid failing. As a result they make slower progress.

Other students recognise the importance of failure. Your job as an A Level student is to become one of these people. John Maxwell puts in this way in his book “Falling Forward.”

Have a look at the characteristics Maxwell associates with these different types of failings in the table below:

Failing backwards


Failing forwards

Blaming others

Taking responsibility

Repeating the same mistake

Learning from each mistake

Expecting to never fail

Knowing failure is part of the process

Accepting tradition blindly

Challenging outdated presumptions

Being limited by past mistakes

Taking news risks

Thinking “I am a failure”

Believing something didn’t work

Withdrawing effort


Write a paragraph about a time in your recent past where you failed backwards: then write another paragraph about how you could have failed forwards!

Read the following two articles in the attachment below about successful people writing about failure: as always if there are any words/ phrases that are new to you LOOK THEM UP.