Will Smith – Fail Forward

Actor Will Smith defines success as ‘controlled failure’ and encourages you to embrace every failure you’ve ever made, because in failure lies growth.


I love this one. Fail early, fail often, fail forward. You know, it’s always a little bit frustrating to me when people have a negative relationship with failure. Failure is a massive part of being able to be successful. You have to get comfortable with failure. You have to actually seek failure, failure is where all of the lessons are.

You know, when you go to the gym and you workout, you’re actually seeking failure, you want to take your muscles to the point where you get to failure, because that’s where the adaptation is, that’s where growth is. Successful people fail a lot, they fail a whole lot more than they succeed, but they extract the lessons from the failure and they use the energy and they use the wisdom to come around to the next phase of success.

You gotta take a shot. You have to live at the edge of your capabilities. You gotta live where you’re almost certain you’re going to fail. That’s the reason for practice, practice is controlled failure, you’re getting to your limit, getting to your limit, getting to your limit. You can’t live that, you can’t do that, until you get to the point that all of a sudden your body makes the adjustment and then you can do it.

Failure actually helps you to recognize the areas where you need to evolve. So fail early, fail often, fail forward.