fear of failure

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pages: 410 words: 114,005

Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes--But Some Do by Matthew Syed

Airbus A320, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, crew resource management, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, publication bias, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, Shai Danziger, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, US Airways Flight 1549, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War

They looked at attitudes toward entrepreneurship in twenty innovation-based advanced economies. The results were emphatic. Japanese citizens demonstrated the highest fear of failure. Americans, meanwhile, displayed one of the lowest levels.7 Five years later the same attitudes prevailed. In a survey of seventy different countries, at different stages of development, and facing different challenges, Japan had the highest fear of failure of all of them with the exception of Greece, which was going through the trauma of an externally imposed fiscal consolidation. The United States remained among the lowest.8 In a 2013 survey Japan was rated the lowest in the world in terms of believing that the skills associated with entrepreneurship can be improved over time. Fear of failure is not an inherently bad thing. It is smart to consider the risks and to exercise caution if they are deemed severe.

In the previous section we concerned ourselves with the mindset aspect of this equation. Cognitive dissonance occurs when mistakes are too threatening to admit to, so they are reframed or ignored. This can be thought of as the internal fear of failure: how we struggle to admit mistakes to ourselves. The original nozzle is at the top. The final nozzle, after 45 generations and 449 iterations, is at the bottom. It has a shape no mathematician could possibly have anticipated. In sections 5 and 6, we will return to this crucial issue. We will look at how to create a culture where mistakes are not reframed or suppressed, but wielded as a means of driving progress. We will also look at the external fear of failure—the fear of being unfairly blamed or punished—which also undermines learning from mistakes. Ultimately, we will see that strong, resilient, growth-orientated cultures are built from specific psychological foundations, and we will look at practical examples of cutting-edge companies, sports teams, and even schools that are leading the way.

She asked parents and tutors and other role models to talk about how they had failed, and what they had learned. She showed YouTube clips of famous people practicing: i.e., learning from their own mistakes. She told students about the journeys taken by the likes of David Beckham and James Dyson so they could have a more authentic understanding of how success really happens. Hanbury has said: You’re not born with fear of failure, it’s not an instinct, it’s something that grows and develops in you as you get older. Very young children have no fear of failure at all. They have great fun trying new things and learning very fast. Our focus here is on failing well, on being good at failure. What I mean by this is taking the risk and then learning from it if it doesn’t work. There’s no point in failing and then dealing with it by pretending it didn’t happen, or blaming someone else.


pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, coherent worldview, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, superconnector, technology bubble, traffic fines, Year of Magical Thinking

Looking back, I think my fear came from the enormity of the risk, the incomplete information, the emotional challenges inherent in an outsider’s taking over the company—my company. Brainstorm: How to Overcome Fear of Failure I betcha I fail more than you do. Take that! I failed to get good grades in school. I failed to successfully start a radio station in high school. I failed to launch my first business idea, which was going to be a sweepstakes clearinghouse online. I have failed in countless sales presentations, sometimes with people walking out on me. I failed to lead my basketball team to a league championship. Now, I don’t like dwell on my failures too much since I prefer to take lessons away and then look forward. But I won’t deny that I fail early and fail often. And this is the best way to overcome the fear of failure: fail. Fail at little things. Get good at it. Laugh at yourself. Fail with 100 percent effort—don’t engage in the kind of self-protection that 75 percent effort affords (“Well, if I had given it my all I would have succeeded”).

It’s Called Doing Things. 49 Confronting Failure . . . and Bouncing Back 52 Brainstorm: Building Resilience—A Transferable Quotient Brainstorm: How to Create and Leverage an Advisory Board 57 Hiring an Interim CEO: My First Big Mistake 60 64 Brainstorm: Three Sure Ways to Maximize Luck 68 The Hunt for a COO: Recruiting a Top Team 70 Brainstorm: The Art of Courtship Brainstorm: How to Overcome Fear of Failure 78 85 10.0 Life as a Road Warrior: Making Memorable 90 Sales Pitches 11.0 Brainstorm: Presentations—Worthy of Obsession Brainstorm: Pricing in an Early-Stage Company Brain Trust: Life Is a Sales Call, by Jeff Parker 93 100 105 I’m a Sophomore: Balancing Work, School, and Life 106 Brainstorm: Redefining the Entrepreneurial Lifestyle: Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise Brainstorm: Being a Corporate Athlete Brain Trust: A Life That Works, by Chris Yeh 108 12.0 A Silicon Valley Life: Building Me, Inc.

Along the way, I spent a night in Monterey, where I snuck into a nonvendor city government conference to network (they almost stopped me from entering), got bumped up to the varsity basketball team as a sophomore (those were the days when I’d miss school and race back from L.A. to catch a late afternoon practice), and finished off the cycle with a doctor’s meeting: I had high blood pressure. At the ripe old age of fourteen. Indeed. This all raises a deeply serious question: Did I even attend school classes freshman year? I have no recollection of anything of the sort (and neither did my transcript). >> Dad, Mike, and I agreed to Dave’s comp and Year One budget in principle. By this time I had made up my mind to be supportive of hiring Dave, and subjugated my fear of failure. Mike and advisor Tom Mulvaney were working on customizing an employment agreement. “OK, Ben, we’re almost there. I’ve spoken to Dave and we agree in principle to the numbers he wants to hit, it’s just about structuring the package to get him there. It will be a combination of base, commissions, and of course, his equity,” Mike said. “Great—any deal breakers?” I asked. “Well, there is one thing he didn’t want to budge on.


pages: 262 words: 78,781

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Braxton Irvine

Columbine, fear of failure, hedonic treadmill, Lao Tzu

According to Plutarch, Cato did this not because he “sought vainglory”; to the contrary, he dressed differently in order to accustom himself “to be ashamed only of what was really shameful, and to ignore men’s low opinion of other things.”7 In other words, Cato consciously did things to trigger the disdain of other people simply so he could practice ignoring their disdain. Many people are haunted by a fear that in some cases significantly constrains their freedom, namely, the fear of failure. The individuals in question might contemplate doing something that will test their courage, determination, and ability, but then decide against the attempt, with the key factor in their decision being the fear of failure. From their point of view, it is better not even to attempt something than to fail while trying to accomplish it. There are, to be sure, failures that any sensible person will want to avoid—those failures, for example, that result in death or disfigurement. The failures that many people seek to avoid, though, will not cost them their life or health.

Whenever you undertake an activity in which public failure is a possibility, you are likely to experience butterflies in your stomach. I mentioned above that since becoming a Stoic, I have become a collector of insults. I have also become a collector of butterflies. I like to engage in activities, such as competitive rowing, that give me butterflies simply so I can practice dealing with them. These feelings are, after all, an important component of the fear of failure, so that by dealing with them I am working to overcome my fear of failure. In the hours before a race, I experience some truly magnificent butterflies. I do my best to turn them to my advantage: They make me focus on the race that lies ahead. Once a race has begun, I have the pleasure of watching the butterflies depart. I have also turned elsewhere in my pursuit of butterflies.After I began practicing Stoicism, for example, I decided to learn how to play a musical instrument, something I had never done before.

The would-be novelist’s real goal is obviously to get her novel published—something she knows full well—and in advising her to internalize her goals with respect to the novel, I am doing little more than advising her to pretend as if getting published weren’t her goal. In response to this complaint, I would point out, to begin with, that it might be possible for someone, by spending enough time practicing goal internalization, to develop the ability not to look beyond her internalized goals—in which case they would become her “real” goals. Furthermore, even if the internalization process is a mind game, it is a useful mind game. Fear of failure is a psychological trait, so it is hardly surprising that by altering our psychological attitude toward “failure” (by carefully choosing our goals), we can affect the degree to which we fear it. The Stoics, as I have explained, were very much interested in human psychology and were not at all averse to using psychological “tricks” to overcome certain aspects of human psychology, such as the presence in us of negative emotions.


pages: 181 words: 53,257

Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day by Glynnis Whitwer

delayed gratification, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, Firefox, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, late fees, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Walter Mischel

However, we still dread criticism so much that we seek temporary relief in procrastination. Which leads to more self-criticism, leading to more procrastination, and so on. Neil Fiore, PhD, in his book The Now Habit, describes the perfectionist cycle that leads to procrastination this way: As conflict builds between your internal fears of failure or imperfection and the external demands of others, you seek relief through procrastination. This can lead to a pernicious cycle: Perfectionistic demands lead to → fear of failure → PROCRASTINATION → self-criticism → anxiety and depression → loss of confidence → greater fear of failure which leads to → stronger need to use PROCRASTINATION as a temporary escape.[1] What a hard cycle to break! Thankfully, with God’s help we can identify and address this tendency before it consumes our lives. Let’s take a deeper look at this issue and why it’s got such a hold on us, starting with twelve years or more of training to meet external standards.

When we are confident in our position as a child of God, we trust He will act on our behalf. Luke 18:7 says, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?” Our identity is not defined by our actions, and so we will never be a “failure” when our performance doesn’t match our expectations. When we reassign the source of our value and worth to its rightful place, we will be free from the fear of failure or of the opinions of others. The only thing that matters is what our heavenly Father thinks about us. We can rest knowing we are safe and secure in God’s unconditional love. Let’s Redefine “Failure” I wish we could rewind our lives like the old VCR tapes and go back to the time when we learned that a mistake or a disappointing result equaled failure. Maybe it goes back to being afraid of a red F on a test—or worse, on a report card.


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

, and the same principle applies when people are pursuing new ideas or embarking on change in their lives. Often the biggest constraint is fear of failure. When I asked Sebastian Thrun why the What if you could not fail? question resonated with him, he responded, “People mainly fail because they fear failure.” A central tenet of Thrun’s approach to bringing about radical change, whether that involves reinventing cars or college courses, is “the willingness to fail fast and celebrate failures.” Thrun added, “Innovators have to be fearless.” That was the message Dugan conveyed in her TED speech featuring the could-not-fail question. “If you really ask yourself this question,” she told the audience, “you can’t help but feel uncomfortable,” because it becomes clear that fear of failure “keeps us from attempting great things . . . and life gets dull. Amazing things stop happening.”

In fact, the sudden ubiquity of this idea prompted a mini-backlash from a writer on the website Big Think, who used the term failure fetish39 to describe the trend. The writer pointed out that failure, despite all its current good press, is in reality often painful and sometimes devastating. Nonetheless, many are pushing the “embrace failure” message. The writer Peter Sims pointed out40 that fear of failure has been drummed into us, starting early in life: “Your parents wanted you to achieve, achieve, achieve—in sports, the classroom, and scouting or work. Your teachers penalized you for having the ‘wrong’ answers,” Sims wrote in Harvard Business Review. And if anything, it only got worse as you moved into the business world, where, Sims noted, “modern industrial management is still predicated largely on mitigating risks and preventing errors.”

This line, along with lots of other interesting thoughts on prototyping, can be found on Rodriguez’s bog Metacool, http://metacool.typepad.com/metacool/2009/04/4-prototype-as-if-you-are-right-listen-as-if-you-are-wrong.html. 61 “enabling a class of ordinary people . . . J. Paul Grayson’s quote appeared in Ashlee Vance, “A Technology Sets Inventors Free to Dream,” New York Times, September 14, 2010. 62 “How might we roll it instead of lugging it?” . . . Joe Sharkey, “Reinventing the Suitcase by Adding the Wheel,” New York Times, October 4, 2010. 63 As the writer Peter Sims noted in . . . Peter Sims, “The Number One Enemy of Creativity: Fear of Failure,” Harvard Business Review, October 5, 2012; see also, Peter Sims, “Daring to Stumble on the Road to Discovery,” New York Times, August 7, 2011. 64 At Facebook, founder Mark Zuckerberg has . . . Zuckerberg published his manifesto “The Hacker Way” as part of his letter to investors during Facebook’s IPO in early 2012. Wired reprinted the complete letter, http://www.wired.com/business/2012/02/zuck-letter/. 65 “the trick is to go from one failure . . .”


Asperger Syndrome: A Love Story by Sarah Hendrickx, Keith Newton

Asperger Syndrome, fear of failure, neurotypical, theory of mind

I had a fear of being unable to excite my partner and this enabled me to relax and enjoy myself. I only needed it the first time, after that I was OK. (AS male) Finding a Partner / 27 It is definitely easier to stay alone, but I have finally mustered the courage to at least attempt a relationship. I am tired of being lonely. (AS male) Respondents were asked whether self-esteem had played any part in their ability to begin or maintain relationships, and whether fear of failure inhibited new attempts to find someone. Someone’s capacity to recover from past failures and move forward varies enormously from person to person. Self-esteem, for most people, is developed through interaction and feedback from others (Hénault 2006) and this is often lacking in those with AS because they have few opportunities to experience positive relationships. The result of this is a continuing downward spiral of negativity: I fear rejection, real or imaginary.

This condition prevented me from basically ever being in a romantic relationship. (AS male) I generally feel inferior to other people and therefore do not feel worthy of associating with them. (AS male) He (AS) did have problems with trying again after his first marriage. He was alone for ten years. (NT female) Compliments do not increase my self-confidence. I don’t believe them to be true so they have no meaning to me. (AS male) Yes (fear of failure affects ability to attempt a relationship) I would still be alone if I was not set up on a blind date. (AS male) 28 / Love, Sex and Long-Term Relationships During different periods of my life I felt so trapped by fear of sexual failure and inadequacy. The advent of Viagra® made a huge difference, as did some therapy. (AS male) The role of alcohol and/or drugs For a small proportion of the men with AS (14%), alcohol or drugs played a large part in their ability to manage the anxiety that is often inherent in the condition.

Allow yourself some time to process your feelings rather than swiftly moving on to find another partner or shutting yourself away fearing another ‘failure’. A relationship ending is not a ‘failure’: people change, circumstances change and the relationship may no longer be able to keep up with those changes: He (AS) chose it (celibacy) after the breakdown of his first relationship and went into (seven) years of mourning. (NT female) Fear of failure or rejection affects ability and desire… I remained alone for seven years. (AS male) My husband (AS) says he was involved with a crazy older woman who pursued him… When it ended my husband pierced his own penis, as some kind of act of what he said would be a commitment to life-long abstinence. (NT female) Me? Us? No One? – Options and Choices for Sexual Pleasure / 77 There was a period of time after the marriage split, where my self-confidence was so shaken.


pages: 290 words: 98,699

Wealth Without a Job: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Freedom and Security Beyond the 9 to 5 Lifestyle by Phil Laut, Andy Fuehl

British Empire, business process, buy and hold, declining real wages, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index card, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, women in the workforce

For this reason, moving forward and making progress toward your goals is supposed to feel uncomfortable. Change does not have to be agony, but it certainly will activate uncomfortable feelings. Remember the Dilbert cartoon that says, “Change is good. You go first”? Fear is chronically linked to change. Unacknowledged fear causes procrastination. At the beginning of an important project, there is fear of failure or fear that you will not be able to reach completion. Toward the end of the project, as success gets closer and more certain, the emotional experience tends to shift to fear about what success may mean. Expect to feel a little uncomfortable about making changes. The discomfort is natural and does not mean that you are doing something wrong. A compulsive desire for emotional comfort can defeat your desire to make the changes you want, if you allow it to.

I reviewed how I had motivated myself to complete projects that had been successful in the past as well as some that were not. Many people have since told me that their own motivation strategy is similar to what I had originally used. I’ll describe first my original unconsciously developed motivation strategy and then the new one I now use. When I got started on any new goal, I was excited and began moving forward. Soon after the fear of failure set in, but somehow I got over that. Then after a little while I bumped into obstacles and got frustrated and angry. Still, somehow I got through them. Next, as I continued to move forward, lots of distractions appeared. Somehow I moved past those. Then a combination of fear of success and the concern that the results would not be as good as I originally thought came to my awareness. Yet somehow I got over them and completed the project.

FIGURE 4.6 Developing Self-Motivation ccc_laut_ch04_31-60.qxd 7/8/04 12:23 PM Page 51 Changing Your Motivation—From Inconsistent to Unstoppable Imagine the sheets of paper are a baseball diamond and you are going around the bases. Now think of a goal that you want to achieve. See yourself working on your goal through your own eyes. See the pictures, hear the sounds, and feel the feelings associated with achieving your goal. Now move through your mental image of achieving your goal. It is only natural that you experience some fear of failure. If you don’t, then either your goal is trivial or you are denying your feelings. Consider a larger goal that offers a bigger challenge or slow down so you can focus your awareness more carefully on your current feelings, whichever is appropriate. Now stand on first base (PATIENCE). Notice that the goal is not accomplished yet. While you are there, be patient. Really experience being patient and relax.


pages: 728 words: 182,850

Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

3D printing, A Pattern Language, carbon footprint, centre right, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, Donald Knuth, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, fear of failure, food miles, functional fixedness, hacker house, haute cuisine, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, iterative process, Kickstarter, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, random walk, Rubik’s Cube, slashdot, stochastic process, the scientific method

Even if dinner does end up in the trash, if you learned something about what went wrong, that’s success. Failure in the kitchen is a better instructor than success. Fear of failure is another thoroughly modern American phenomenon. We’re bombarded with images of the perfect Thanksgiving turkey (they probably used a plastic one during the photo shoot), photos of models sporting impossible physiques (thanks, Photoshop), and stories of triumph and success (where they don’t disclose the sad parts and trade-offs). Then when we go to try something, we often find it doesn’t work for us the way it seems to for others. Setbacks. Negative feedback. No wonder there’s so much fear of failure: we’ve set ourselves a bar so high that it simply doesn’t exist. There’s a generation of Americans hung up on being perfect. The perfect white teeth, the perfect clothing, the perfect "carefree" tossed-together wardrobe.

Really just to get in there and start cooking and not be afraid to fail. You probably learn more from failure than you do from success because when something goes right you don’t really think about how you did it or why it worked. But when something goes wrong and you have to fix it, then you learn a lot more about what’s happening. Why do you think people have a fear of failure in the kitchen? Because they have a fear of failure in life. Nobody wants to fail. Most people who are cooking at home and trying a new recipe are usually cooking for someone else. And if you screw up in the kitchen, it’s expensive—to ruin a whole thing of food and then you don’t have anything to eat? You have to have a sense of humor in the kitchen. You have to be able to laugh at yourself. You can always order a pizza.

I’m surprised at how often the people I interview say that it seems like people just aren’t using common sense. I think there are several reasons for that. One is a lack of confidence that comes from not having grown up around cooks so that you’re afraid to trust your instincts, whereas if you’ve grown up making cookies with your grandmother for your whole life, then a cookie recipe wouldn’t scare you. I think there’s some fear of failure there. I think there’s another thing that probably relates to science and common sense more than people realize: don’t poke at your food while you’re cooking it. If you have something cooking in a hot pan, and the recipe says either sauté it or cook until the onions are wilted or whatever it is, if you get in there with a spoon and you keep moving it around so that the food doesn’t have any chance to come into contact with the heat, whether you’re actually stirring or, as more often happens, poking, that food doesn’t ever cook.


pages: 94 words: 26,453

The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton

3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

And a report from the Kauffman Foundation in 2012 showed that immigrant founders were the social group most likely to start companies in either the “innovation and manufacturing related services” (45%) or software (22%).) Perhaps the significant feature of immigrants is that they are already outsiders, so the compulsion to conform with the host society’s nice ways of doing things is tempered by the knowledge that they are different anyway. Unbound by the domesticated fear of failure, it seems that immigrants can step outside the normal zone of nice and predictable. This sense of difference seems to generate a great appetite for the creative and buccaneering life of start-up businesses. What’s true for entrepreneurs is also true for artists. Malcolm Gladwell explained, in the NY Times, that impressionism, the most influential artist movement in history, was the product of misfits.

In his study of iconoclastic innovators Berns identifies the following three characteristics as key to being creative and successful: Different perception: Seeing the world differently enables you to imagine new possibilities where others see the same. This of course is a feature of the Anti-Conform mentality and thinking differently. Fear management: As you take risks and buck the convention of “Nice” you must be able to handle the fear of failure, social ostracism, or potential mockery that is highly likely to accompany this different direction. You must, in other words, be comfortable being Anti-Safe. Social intelligence: If you have new ideas, new ways of seeing things and want others to see the value of this – whether it is art or business or something else – then you must be able to persuade people. You have every right to treat your art as something wonderful that will speak for itself, and unless you are lucky or have a famous mum or dad it will probably be ignored.


pages: 435 words: 136,906

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius(tm) by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen

Albert Einstein, fear of failure, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, urban sprawl, Walter Mischel

This is simply not so when we deny our ability. Keeping potentiality under wraps is more dangerous, not less. Mary Rocamora, a therapist who works with gifted and talented adults, writes about this common block. She observes that running away from the idea of exceptional ability is understandable because gifted people “find that description incompatible with their self-concept. For others, their resistance can be attributed to fear of failure to live up to the label. Those clients whose core identity is based in shame, or who polarize from anything that would tend to make them feel superior to others, also have a hard time being called gifted.… [S]hame is the leading cause of death of the potential for actualizing giftedness.” However, Rocamora reminds us, “Once it is explained that giftedness is not identified by high intelligence alone, and that there is a personality profile attendant to giftedness, the resistance begins to yield and a new sense of identification emerges.… Simply knowing one is gifted opens a floodgate of energy.”1 We learned to guard against criticism in ways that disguised us and dumbed-down our insights and ideas.

They quake at their own thoughts, which suggest that whatever they do, every effort will have to be something fit for a magazine cover, especially if it involves putting their talents on the line. This creative block surfaces nearly every time we try something new. Perhaps everyone marches through life fearing failure. Nevertheless, for gifted adults, these feelings are more intense than simple inhibition or the desire to avoid embarrassment, because we have been led to expect superhuman performance from ourselves. Our fear of failure seems to have two components: fear of humiliation and loss of future opportunities if others see our downs as well as our ups, and fear of subjecting our true Self to scrutiny or even exploitation. These fears are not simple foolishness. Each of us has firsthand knowledge of how sometimes others ask more from us, offering less in return, when they discover what we have to offer. If we are unsure of ourselves or lack assertiveness skills, showing our true colors can lead to being exploited, a risk that unfortunately is inherent in “coming out” as gifted.

The emerging true Self brings with it so many rewards during its long-awaited return that we seize every opportunity to respect our abilities and ourselves in ways that provide a more suitable creative environment for our authentic Self. Exaggerated demands for instant expertise and mistake-free living soon fade as we build a friendship with our eccentricities and accept the necessity of error in every creative pursuit. In fact, it’s laughable when we admit that our fear of failure is founded on a ridiculous learned pressure to be superhuman, boldly innovative, and a failure-proof achiever all rolled into one. When we set this burden for greatness aside, we discover entirely new avenues for fulfillment. This is when the fun begins, in the playful freedom that emerges from the conscious decision to be not grand, not noteworthy, and not impressed by our gifts and achievements.


pages: 231 words: 73,818

The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life by Bernard Roth

Albert Einstein, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, deskilling, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, school choice, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, zero-sum game

When they unintentionally drop an item they are juggling, they often jump up with arms outstretched, a big smile, and a loud ta-da! My former colleague Rolf Faste used to have participants in our workshop take the clown’s ta-da bow when they messed up. It did wonders; it made it okay to show one’s mistakes and not try to cover them up. The accepting-repeated-failure route, if used with an open mind, can lead to much better solutions than does a fear of failure. A system that punishes failures rather than accepting that they occur on the road to success squelches creativity. People tend to accept the notion that failure can be productive as an abstraction, yet unsurprisingly, in reality they find it difficult to accept failure unless they’re in an environment that supports this notion. In the d.school we have had a great deal of success in creating such an environment.

I have regained the habit, and many students tell me how thankful they are to have it as an unexpected side benefit of my course. Success opens the door for increased self-esteem. If it comes early in life, it can do much to shape your future direction. If it does not come early, it can still be achieved. It is important to attempt different modalities and not to remain stuck in one that does not nurture and fulfill you. Fear of failure often keeps us in an unsatisfying routine. Instead of daydreaming about change, reach out and attempt new things. Small steps with accompanying successes lead to major life transitions. YOUR TURN Did you have a youthful formative experience of accomplishing something on your own? Think back to the essence of that experience. Looking at your current life, what would you do differently if you were not afraid of failing or looking bad?

If you trip, pick yourself up and keep moving forward. THE MAIN CONSTRUCTS OF this chapter are easy to test in your own life: Be honest and notice the differences between your self-image and the ways you actually act. Notice the difference between intention and attention, between trying to do something and actually doing it. Finally, notice how the habit of acting on your dreams builds from direct experience, and from overcoming the fear of failure. CHAPTER 6 Sincerity—if you can fake that, you’ve got it made. —George Burns The way we communicate with people has a significant effect on their opinions of us. It’s not just about what we say, but about how we say it. Becoming better communicators can heal relationships, lead to better job opportunities, and enable us to reach wider audiences with whatever messages we want to share.


Not for Bread Alone: A Business Ethos, a Management Ethic by 松下幸之助

fear of failure, intangible asset

Abiding by such simple and ordinary practices faithfully and routinely is the key to success, not only in business, but in many other activities as well. 112 PART TWO 1. No Such Thing as Failure You are about to make a decision that could change the whole direction of your life. How to approach it? Virtually everyone comes to such a critical juncture at least once. You cannot make that decision casually, for it affects many others around you. To plunge off in the wrong direction may cost them as dearly as it costs you. On the other hand, to let the fear of failure immobilize you will stop you from ever trying anything new, and yours will be the loss in personal growth and fuller human relations. In June 1917, at the age of twenty-two, I resigned from the Osaka Electric Light Company (now Kansai Electric Power Company) where I had worked for seven years, to start my own business. To break with my company like that was, in 1917, equivalent to the move many young men make today to give up their salaried security in search of something more fulfIlling, if risky.

And so, fued by the need to produce something positive myself, I left an unusually good job with a prominent fIrm and started out on my own. Naturally, after seven years, I still felt a strong attachment to the company, and I was also somewhat uneasy about the future. Would I be able to make a go of it? But, despite my anxiety, I was a twenty-two-year-old full of youthful optimism, and my hope of success was stronger than my fear of failure. I was excited, heading into a new world and new experience. Moreover, in the chance-which I thought was very small-that I didn't make it independently, I could always go back to myoid company and work there for life. That knowledge sustained me in my determination to keep going, once I had started. It also made me less fearful of an uncertain future, and it gave me the courage to start a new, independent life.


pages: 321 words: 92,828

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor

On a late summer day, I sat down with Dweck to discuss the changes she’s seen in her years of teaching college freshmen. “I think society is in a crisis,” she told me. “Kids seem more exhausted and brittle today. I’m getting much more fear of failure, fear of evaluation, than I’ve gotten before. I see it in a lot of kids; a desire to play it safe. They don’t want to get into a place of being judged, of having to produce.” And these are the kids who were admitted to Stanford—these are the early “winners” in life. The optimism of youth, it seems, has been warped into a crippling fear of failure. But it gets worse. Rates of teen depression and suicide have climbed sharply since 2011. This is especially tragic, because on most counts young people’s habits are improving. Drinking, smoking, and drug-taking are down in the United States, as in other developed countries, and teen pregnancies are at a record low.

We’re stunting their development, closing their pathways to discovery, and making them more fragile. Just when we should be encouraging kids to dream big, take risks, and learn from life’s inevitable failures, we’re teaching them to live in terror of making the slightest mistake. Forging kids into wunderkinds is making them brittle. Journalist Megan McArdle has written extensively about the fear of failure that plagues today’s young adults. In 2014 she recounted the following exchange with an ambitious high schooler: The other day, after one of my talks, a 10th-grade girl came up and shyly asked if I had a minute. I always have a minute to talk to shy high school sophomores, having been one myself. And this is what she asked me: “I understand what you’re saying about trying new things, and hard things, but I’m in an International Baccalaureate program and only about five percent of us will get 4.0, so how can I try a subject where I might not get an A?’


pages: 162 words: 50,108

The Little Book of Hedge Funds by Anthony Scaramucci

Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, business process, carried interest, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fear of failure, fixed income, follow your passion, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index fund, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, margin call, mass immigration, merger arbitrage, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, the new new thing, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

See, economists often think human beings act rationally, but we know that if anything is predictable, it’s the fact that human beings are predictably irrational and unpredictable. Human sentiment effects people’s decisions, choices, and behaviors. Like a live performer whose demeanor swings from excited anticipation to paralyzing fear the moment he sets foot on stage, the stock market gyrates based upon human emotions and the impulses of greed and fear. Why? 1. Investors are not fully rational. In pursuit of glamour, fortune, and fame or fear of failure, the minds of investors can be clouded by overly emotional thoughts that negatively affect their decision-making abilities. 2. Investors are overconfident. They have a tendency to operate under the belief that they are able to pick winning stocks and time the market perfectly. There is no real evidence to support this, but alas market hubris abounds. 3. Investors, like consumers, are brand snobs.

A few years ago, a friend of mine asked me that very same question. Here’s the list of attributes and skills that I have learned from life and business experience that the next generation of entrepreneurs should have: Be confident in yourself as early in your career as possible. Prepare for—and always expect—the unexpected. Think about the life you want to lead and then determine the steps you need to take to get there. Take risks; don’t let your fear of failure stop you. Don’t let failures or setbacks derail your confidence. Always look for new opportunities for learning. If you come at the game from this perspective, you will always be a winner regardless of the outcome. A Quick Pop Quiz Before I dispense advice on how to get a job at a hedge fund, I urge you to think long and hard about whether your personality is suited for this high-paced, intense, live-or-die-by-your-own-performance lifestyle.


Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, Elizabeth Truss

Airbnb, banking crisis, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clockwatching, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, glass ceiling, informal economy, James Dyson, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Neil Kinnock, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

Of course, it may be that this need to improvise due to scarce resources itself leads to successful innovation. If, as Malcolm Gladwell would have it, a successful product requires ‘threat and constraint’, Israel would seem to be the ideal proof of this. Perhaps, then, part of the secret to Israel’s success lies simply in demographics and geography. Either way, the Israeli miracle shows what can be achieved when the right to take risks is set free. Fear of Failure By contrast, Britain is becoming an increasingly risk-averse society. This is most visible in the growth of what might be termed the Buccaneers 87 health and safety industry, but its pernicious effects intrude into all sorts of corners of our national life. Sociologist Frank Furedi writes compellingly about a culture of fear, which undermines the natural human impulse to take risks. He claims that as a culture we increasingly feel powerless in the face of risk, giving in to a worst-case thinking that has become an organising principle of public life.21 The effect that this has on enterprise in Britain is demonstrated by the regulations that hinder business.

Ive was born in Chingford at 1967, but left London in 1992 to move to California and take up a position at the computer giant. While at Apple, he designed perhaps the most influential gadgets of the last 20 years: the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. When asked in early 2012, what made him make the move, he told reporters that it was California’s sense of optimism, the ability to play with ideas without fear of failure.30 92 Britannia Unchained Clearly, the examples of Lehman Brothers, General Motors and Enron suggest that failure and bankruptcy are not without their downsides. As journalist Tim Harford suggests in his 2011 book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure, the key is to make sure that failure is survivable.31 In the early stages of a project, failure need not be a disaster. Of course, none of this is news to those who live and breathe enterprise.


pages: 209 words: 54,638

Team Geek by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman

anti-pattern, barriers to entry, cognitive dissonance, Dean Kamen, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, Guido van Rossum, Paul Graham, publish or perish, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application

Your Life Under a Bad Manager It’s hard to know where to start when describing the traits of a bad manager—entire movies and TV shows have been created solely to lampoon the bad managers of the world. Most of us have had at least one bad manager in our careers, and a bad manager can make life on even the greatest team a living hell, so we’re going to cover just a few of the traits of a bad manager that typically affect engineers. Fear of failure is one of the most common traits of bad managers. This insecurity tends to make them very conservative, which is antithetical to the work style of the typical engineer. If your manager doesn’t want you to take risks, there is little opportunity for you to inject your own ideas into your product and you’ll usually wind up implementing (by rote) the product that someone else designed. [45] Oftentimes the insecure manager will insist on inserting herself into any interaction you have with people outside your team, thereby preventing you from speaking directly to other teams without “going through the chain of command.”

., the “Author Tags” Issue), Have Real Test and Release Processes, It Really Is About the Code After All in synchronizing goals, High-Level Synchronization–Design Docs, The Mission Statement—No, Really, Efficient Meetings, Design Docs, Day-to-Day Discussions Subversion project motto about, Working in a “Geographically Challenged” Team team culture and, Communication Patterns of Successful Cultures, Communication Patterns of Successful Cultures, It Really Is About the Code After All, It Really Is About the Code After All complexity, hiding, Hide Complexity–Managing Your Relationship with Users, Hide Complexity, Managing Your Relationship with Users compliment sandwich technique, Be Honest–Be Honest, Be Honest, Be Honest connectors in organizations, Seek Powerful Friends consensus building, Be a Catalyst–Be a Catalyst, Be a Catalyst, Identifying the Threat–Perfectionism, Perfectionism leaders and, Be a Catalyst–Be a Catalyst, Be a Catalyst poisonous people and, Identifying the Threat–Perfectionism, Perfectionism constructive criticism, Learn to Both Deal Out and Handle Criticism, Culture and People, Culture and People, Lose the Ego criticism, Learn to Both Deal Out and Handle Criticism, Culture and People, Lose the Ego, Be a Catalyst constructive, Learn to Both Deal Out and Handle Criticism, Culture and People, Lose the Ego public, Be a Catalyst customer service, Don’t Be Condescending, Be Patient–Create Trust and Delight, Create Trust and Delight condescending attitudes toward, Don’t Be Condescending patience and, Be Patient–Create Trust and Delight, Create Trust and Delight D day-to-day discussions, Working in a “Geographically Challenged” Team, Mailing Lists instant messages, Working in a “Geographically Challenged” Team mailing lists, Mailing Lists decision-making process, Culture and People, Culture and People defensive work, Learn to Manage Upward delegating work, Track Happiness delight, creating, Create Trust and Delight–Remember the Users, Create Trust and Delight, Remember the Users design by committee, The Bad Organization design documentation, Design Docs distributed teams, Working in a “Geographically Challenged” Team E Edison, Thomas, Fail Fast; Learn; Iterate egos, Culture and People, Lose the Ego–Lose the Ego, Lose the Ego, Not Respecting Other People’s Time losing the ego, Lose the Ego–Lose the Ego, Lose the Ego of poisonous people, Not Respecting Other People’s Time team culture and, Culture and People email etiquette, Fortifying Your Team energy creature, feeding, Don’t Feed the Energy Creature extrinsic motivation, Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Motivation–Final Thoughts, Final Thoughts F face-to-face conversations, Working in a “Geographically Challenged” Team failure, Hiding Is Considered Harmful, Fail Fast; Learn; Iterate, Be a Catalyst, Be a Catalyst, Be a Catalyst, Your Life Under an Ideal Manager Google motto about, Fail Fast; Learn; Iterate importance of, Hiding Is Considered Harmful public criticism of, Be a Catalyst risk taking and, Be a Catalyst, Be a Catalyst, Your Life Under an Ideal Manager favor economy, luck and, Luck and the Favor Economy–Luck and the Favor Economy, Luck and the Favor Economy, Luck and the Favor Economy fear of failure, Your Life Under a Bad Manager feedback, Hiding Is Considered Harmful, Be Honest–Be Honest, Be Honest, Be Honest compliment sandwich in, Be Honest–Be Honest, Be Honest, Be Honest programmers and, Hiding Is Considered Harmful first impressions, Pay Attention to First Impressions, Underpromise and Overdeliver, Consider Barrier to Entry flipping the bozo bit, Identifying the Threat focus, The Bad Organization, Learn to Manage Upward in bad organizations, The Bad Organization on product launches, Learn to Manage Upward Focus on the user motto, How Usable Is Your Software?


pages: 212 words: 64,724

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

fear of failure, lateral thinking, Menlo Park

Because of its phantom nature, and despite elaborate defense mechanisms, the ego is very vulnerable and insecure, and it sees itself as constantly under threat. This, by the way, is the case even if the ego is outwardly very confident. Now remember that an emotion is the body’s reaction to your mind. What message is the body receiving continuously from the ego, the false, mind-made self? Danger, I am under threat. And what is the emotion generated by this continuous message? Fear, of course. Fear seems to have many causes. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, and so on, but ultimately all fear is the ego’s fear of death, of annihilation. To the ego, death is always just around the corner. In this mind-identified state, fear of death affects every aspect of your life. For example, even such a seemingly trivial and “normal” thing as the compulsive need to be right in an argument and make the other person wrong — defending the mental position with which you have identified — is due to the fear of death.

As far as your life situation is concerned, there may be things to be attained or acquired. That’s the world of form, of gain and loss. Yet on a deeper level you are already complete, and when you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do. Being free of psychological time, you no longer pursue your goals with grim determination, driven by fear, anger, discontent, or the need to become someone. Nor will you remain inactive through fear of failure, which to the ego is loss of self. When your deeper sense of self is derived from Being, when you are free of “becoming” as a psychological need, neither your happiness nor your sense of self depends on the outcome, and so there is freedom from fear. You don’t seek permanency where it cannot be found: in the world of form, of gain and loss, birth and death. You don’t demand that situations, conditions, places, or people should make you happy, and then suffer when they don’t live up to your expectations.


pages: 386 words: 116,233

The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by Mj Demarco

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, bounce rate, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, cloud computing, commoditize, dark matter, delayed gratification, demand response, Donald Trump, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, housing crisis, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Lao Tzu, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, passive investing, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, wealth creators, white picket fence, World Values Survey, zero day

The sweat of success is failure. While you can't build cardiovascular endurance without sweating, you can't experience success without failure. Failure is simply a natural response to success. If you avoid failure you will also avoid success. You can't drive the road to wealth with the brakes engaged. You have to take risks. You have to get uncomfortable. You have to get out there and fail. What causes this fear of failure? Fear of failure is attributed to an overestimated worst-case consequence analysis. What is the absolute worst that could happen and the probability of it happening? You fail at business and have to go back to work? Big deal. When you resist societal headwinds, you will sweat! Take calculated risks. Do so and things happen. You meet new people. New opportunities arise. Feedback pours in. “Lucky breaks” converge into your life.

My other failures ranged from moronic multi-level marketing programs to jewelry to direct marketing programs. Each time, I brushed it off, reanalyzed, learned, adjusted, and tried again. The brakes were disengaged, baby! I once heard, “A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” You can learn from my failures. I didn't learn the Fastlane overnight. I found it by the light of failure. Fear of failure is normal, yet failure creates experience and experience breeds wisdom. Fastlane Risks Can Have Lifelong Returns Bill Gates is a one-hit wonder. He built one company and made billions. One company was all it took. Some might say I'm a one-hit wonder. Great. I'd rather be a one-hit wonder than a no-hit wonder. One hit is all it takes, and you could be set for life. You have a challenge: If you want to hit home runs, you've got to get up to the plate and swing.


pages: 271 words: 62,538

The Best Interface Is No Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology (Voices That Matter) by Golden Krishna

Airbnb, computer vision, crossover SUV, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, impulse control, Inbox Zero, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, QR code, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator, Y2K

If it failed? Then what would you do? You’d be a running-water-loving, cold-food-eating, electricity-hogging idiot! Those dated thoughts may sound insane to you now, but in more modern times we’ve had our fears. Y2K: Oh no, two digits! Online banking: My money in cyberspace!? Leaping into the unknown is scary. And relying on a new means of getting things done means the fear of failure will be prevalent. Examining that fear of failure—a consideration of edge cases—can be limiting and often unproductive during early production ideation, but it is essential to consider when putting together the final stages of anything. Some of the largest and most ambitious projects in recent human history have ended in disaster because of an inability to see important details upon executing the ideas. Chernobyl had a meltdown that contaminated its workers and the land around it.


pages: 202 words: 64,725

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett, Dave Evans

David Brooks, fear of failure, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, invention of the printing press, iterative process, knowledge worker, market design, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Jobs

Sometimes it is more comfortable to hold on to our familiar, failed approach to the problem than to risk a worse failure by attempting the big changes that we think will be required to eliminate it. This is a pretty common but paradoxical human behavior. Change is always uncertain, and there is no guarantee of success, no matter how hard you try. It makes sense to be fearful. The way forward is to reduce the risk (and the fear) of failure by designing a series of small prototypes to test the waters. It is okay for prototypes to fail—they are supposed to—but well-designed prototypes teach you something about the future. Prototypes lower your anxiety, ask interesting questions, and get you data about the potential of the change that you are trying to accomplish. One of the principles of design thinking is that you want to “fail fast and fail forward,” into your next step.

It’s important to think of ourselves as life designers who are curious and action-oriented, and who like to make prototypes and “build our way forward” into the future. But when you take this approach to designing your life, you are going to experience failure. In fact, you are going to “fail by design” more with this approach than with any other. So it’s important to understand what “failure” means in our process, and how to achieve what we call failure immunity. The fear of failure looms so large in people’s experience of their lives. It seems to relate to a fundamental perception in the way people define a good or a bad life. She was a success (yay, good!). He was a failure (boo, bad!). When you look at it that way, no one wants to be a failure. We imagine that at our funerals there will be some external judge (or some imagined life tenure committee) who will pass judgment on whether we managed to succeed or ended up failing.


pages: 524 words: 143,596

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

call centre, East Village, fear of failure, impulse control, land reform, Lao Tzu, Socratic dialogue, the medium is the message

If a man can rely on consistency, he can afford not to notice people after the first few times. But I imagined a world in which each individual might be about to play the lover, the benefactor, the sponger, the attacker, the friend: and once known as one of the next day he might yet be anything. Would we pay attention to this person? Would life be boring? Would life be livable? I saw then clearly for the first time that the fear of failure keeps us huddled in the cave of self a group of behavior patterns we have mastered and have no intention of risking failure by abandoning. What if secretly before every agon or game the dice were thrown to determine whether the `winner' or the `loser' `wins'! The prize or the championship, with fifty-fifty being the odds for each? The loser of the game would thus end up half the time being congratulated for having been lucky enough to have lost, and thus won the prize.

It is real; it is important; the child doesn't have, to be rewarded or punished by society in order to prefer success to failure. The, second meaning of failure is also simple: failure is failure to please an adult; success is pleasing an adult. Money, fame, winning a baseball game, looking pretty, having good clothes, car, house are' all types of success which primarily revolve around pleasing the adult world. There is nothing intrinsic to the human soul in any of these fears of failure. Becoming the dice man was difficult because it involved a continual risking of failure in the eyes of the adult world. As dice man I `failed' (in the second sense) again and again. I was rejected by Lil, by the children, by my esteemed colleagues, by my patients, by strangers, by the image of society's values branded into me by thirty years of living. In the second sense of failure I was continually failing and suffering, but in the first sense I never failed.

Every time I followed the dictates of the die I was successfully building a house or purposely knocking one down. My mazes were always being solved. I was continually opening myself to new problems and, enjoying solving them. From children to men we cage ourselves in patterns to avoid facing new problems and possible failure; after a while men become bored because there are no new problems. Such is life under the fear of failure. Fail! Lose! Be bad! Play, risk, dare. Thus, I exulted that evening of Larry's first diceday. I became determined to make Larry and Evie fearless, frameless, egoless humans. Larry would be the first egoless man since Lao-Tzu. I would let him play the role of father of the household and Evie the mother. I'd let them reverse roles. Sometimes they would play parents as they perceive us to be and at other times as they think parents should be.


pages: 66 words: 19,580

A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary by Alain de Botton

Airbus A320, fear of failure, invention of the telephone, liberation theology, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley

At the beginning of human history, as we struggled to light fires and to chisel fallen trees into rudimentary canoes, who could have predicted that long after we had managed to send men to the moon and aeroplanes to Australasia, we would still have such trouble knowing how to tolerate ourselves, forgive our loved ones and apologise for our tantrums? 10 My employer had made good on the promise of a proper desk. It turned out to be an ideal spot in which to do some work, for it rendered the idea of writing so unlikely as to make it possible again. Objectively good places to work rarely end up being so; in their faultlessness, quiet and well-equipped studies have a habit of rendering the fear of failure overwhelming. Original thoughts are like shy animals. We sometimes have to look the other way – towards a busy street or terminal – before they run out of their burrows. The setting was certainly rich in distractions. Every few minutes, a voice (usually belonging to either Margaret or her colleague Juliet, speaking from a small room on the floor below) would make an announcement attempting, for example, to reunite a Mrs Barker, recently arrived from Frankfurt, with a stray piece of her hand luggage or reminding Mr Bashir of the pressing need for him to board his flight to Nairobi.


pages: 69 words: 18,758

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work by Steven Pressfield

barriers to entry, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, Guggenheim Bilbao

He seeks liberation and enlightenment. And he’s willing, he hopes, to pay the price. The amateur is not evil or crazy. He’s not deluded. He’s not demented. The amateur is trying to learn. The amateur is you and me. What exactly is an amateur? How does an amateur view himself and the world? What qualities characterize the amateur? THE AMATEUR IS TERRIFIED Fear is the primary color of the amateur’s interior world. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking foolish, fear of under-achieving and fear of over-achieving, fear of poverty, fear of loneliness, fear of death. But mostly what we all fear as amateurs is being excluded from the tribe, i.e., the gang, the posse, mother and father, family, nation, race, religion. The amateur fears that if he turns pro and lives out his calling, he will have to live up to who he really is and what he is truly capable of.


pages: 91 words: 5,667

The Asperger Love Guide: A Practical Guide for Adults With Asperger's Syndrome to Seeking, Establishing and Maintaining Successful Relationships by Genevieve Edmonds, Dean Worton

fear of failure, neurotypical, place-making, theory of mind

Low self-esteem can be caused by: ● always being told you were not good enough, odd, strange, weird ● bullying (emotional or physical), ostracism, humiliation ● not fitting in with peers, family or work colleagues 25 ● blaming yourself for your differences ● not understanding ‘why’ you are different – no clear diagnosis ● wrong diagnoses by professionals, such as ‘learning disabled’, ‘mentally ill’ or ‘self-inflicted behaviour’ ● incorrect and unhelpful labels by others such as teachers, family, work colleagues or peers as ‘lazy’, ‘unwilling’, ‘wilful’, ‘naughty’, ‘useless’ and so on ● being a constant disappointment to others despite trying very hard ● setting perfectionist or unrealistically high standard for yourself ● many, many more things. Signs of low self-esteem are: ● excessive shyness ● passive behaviour ● feeling inferior ● conforming when not wishing to ● apologizing for yourself constantly ● fear of failure and competition ● not accepting compliments ● allowing bad behaviour in others towards you ● fear of being rejected ● finding negativity and faults in others ● feeling constantly guilty or defensive ● being possessive or jealous. Self-esteem boosting tips for Aspies Aspies often: ● have a strong sense of social justice ● are straightforward, honest not game players 26 ● place less emphasis on fashions, trends, appearance ● are thoughtful, intelligent ● have a very helpful ability to separate emotion from logic ● are accepting of those from all backgrounds.


pages: 121 words: 24,298

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

delayed gratification, edge city, fear of failure, telemarketer

Fear of the consequences of following our heart. Fear of bankruptcy, fear of poverty, fear of insolvency. Fear of groveling when we try to make it on our own, and of groveling when we give up and come crawling back to where we started. Fear of being selfish, of being rotten wives or disloyal husbands; fear of failing to support our families, of sacrificing their dreams for ours. Fear of betraying our race, our ’hood, our homies. Fear of failure. Fear of being ridiculous. Fear of throwing away the education, the training, the preparation that those we love have sacrificed so much for, that we ourselves have worked our butts off for. Fear of launching into the void, of hurtling too far out there; fear of passing some point of no return, beyond which we cannot recant, cannot reverse, cannot rescind, but must live with this cocked-up choice for the rest of our lives.


pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing

8-hour work day, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, deskilling, fear of failure, full employment, hiring and firing, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nudge unit, old age dependency ratio, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pensions crisis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, precariat, presumed consent, quantitative easing, remote working, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, transaction costs, universal basic income, unpaid internship, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, young professional

The precariat is not yet at that stage, even if a few in its ranks display a defiant pride, in their parades, blogs and comradely interactions. A good society needs people to have empathy, a capacity to project oneself into another’s situation. Feelings of empathy and competition are in constant tension. People in incipient competition conceal from others knowledge, THE PRECARIAT 23 information, contacts and resources, in case revealing them would take away a competitive edge. Fear of failure, or of being able to achieve only a limited status, easily leads to disavowal of empathy. What induces empathy? It may arise from a shared sense of alienation or insecurity, or even shared poverty. Evolutionary biologists generally agree that empathy is more likely within small stable communities, in which people know each other and engage with each other on a regular basis (see, for example, De Waal, 2005).

In the United States, the proportion of men in jobs fell to below 70 per cent in 2009, the lowest since records began in 1948. By 2010, one in five American men aged between 25 and 55 was unemployed. In the 1960s, 95 per cent of that age group were in jobs. In the European Union, three-quarters of the jobs generated since 2000 have been taken by women. Ironically, women’s increased ‘public’ involvement in the economy has been accompanied by a rising fear of failure due to multiple forms of precariousness. This has gone under a chilling name – ‘bag lady syndrome’ – a fear of being out in the streets due to job failure. In 2006, a life insurance survey found that 90 per cent of American women felt financially insecure and nearly half said they had ‘tremendous fear of becoming a bag lady’. This was even prevalent among women earning over US$100,000 a year.


The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier

failed state, fear of failure, hiring and firing, hive mind, interchangeable parts, job automation, Larry Wall, microservices, pull request, risk tolerance, Schrödinger's Cat, side project, Steve Jobs, WebSocket

If you find yourself playing the role of taskmaster—criticizing people who break the rules or don’t follow the process—see if the process itself can be changed to be easier to follow. It’s a waste of your time to play rules cop, and automation can often make the rules more obvious. As the manager of a process czar, help that person get more comfortable with ambiguity. As with many of the manager pitfalls, an obsession with process can be related to a fear of failure and a desire to control things to prevent the unexpected. If you are honest and make it clear that it’s safe to fail and to be imperfect, that’s often enough to get your process czar to relax a little bit and let some ambiguity in. It is very important to keep process czars from spending all of their time seeking out the perfect tool or process, and especially important to make sure that they aren’t punishing their teams for failing to follow processes.

They may even be genuinely contrite when you provide corrective feedback, but it’s very hard for them to do things that visibly make others unhappy. And you probably like your people pleasers very much as people. They’re very nice! You might think people pleasers create teams that feel safe to be vulnerable and fail, but in fact the opposite is true. These managers make it hard for the team to fail in a healthy way, because of the manager’s own fears of failure and possible rejection. An externally focused people pleaser shuts down honest conversation by evasion and, if necessary, emotional manipulation that rests on his status as the person that everyone likes so much. A team pleaser sets her team up to fail by promising things that aren’t realistic, and the result is often a team that feels extremely bitter toward either the manager or the company for failure to live up to these inflated expectations.


pages: 292 words: 94,324

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

affirmative action, Atul Gawande, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, fear of failure, framing effect, index card, iterative process, lateral thinking, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, placebo effect, stem cell, theory of mind

This surrender is not conscious, but an astute patient can pick up on the fact that his doctor is sticking with the same treatment, not taking the risk of devising a novel, individual approach when the condition is not improving, because "it's a bad disease." When I was a fellow in training at UCLA, some of the senior attending physicians invoked this mantra, and I found myself repeating it with a guilty sense of relief. It acted as a buffer against the fear of failure, a fear that even an accomplished physician, which I was not, carries within himself. It is healthy and beneficial to invest your ego in healing your patient's disease. But when your ego overshadows that goal, there lies danger. "I tell patients that I am going to do everything possible to help them," Nimer said, "and that means that I am also setting myself up to fail." Failure is something that physicians deeply dislike.

My friend ultimately sought an outstanding oncologist in his hometown in New Jersey who was attentive and made sure that his final days were as comfortable as possible. My novelist friend theorized that the oncologist who treated his artist wife but would not consider treatment beyond statistics and protocols, and the oncologist who abandoned the intelligence operative, both suffered from fear of failure, and probably fear of death. "I know it sounds strange," he said, "supposing that an oncologist who sees so much death would flee from it. But I think posing as highly rational, acting only when all the numbers are in hand, is in fact an irrational way to care for people with cancer. You refuse to try anything creative, refuse to put yourself on the line. He must have known that we would leave him, that we would seek another doctor at this most difficult point in our lives, when we were facing death.


pages: 128 words: 28,129

Exercise Every Day: 32 Tactics for Building the Exercise Habit (Even If You Hate Working Out) by S.J. Scott

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, fear of failure, Inbox Zero, Kickstarter, obamacare, Skype

The “no time” excuse is another one of those things that can hold you back in all areas of your life if you let it. Subconsciously, many people make this excuse with the secret hope that the need to do the task will eventually disappear. The need to develop an exercise habit to keep yourself healthy is never going to go away. You know that. So don’t let this excuse hold you down any longer. #5—I don’t feel like it today. Why do you not want to exercise? Is it a fear of failure? Discomfort? Or just lack of interest? The good news is that whatever is behind your lack of desire is basically remedied with the strategies described in this book. You don’t have to commit to hours of exercise—just enough movement to meet your goal. You don’t have to be in pain or set yourself up for failure—you have chosen a workout plan that fits your unique fitness level and goals. You don’t have to deal with a boring workout.


pages: 351 words: 101,051

Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors by Caroline Elton

Alvin Roth, fear of failure, feminist movement, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Rubik’s Cube, women in the workforce

Helping him to move on also involved helping him to change the mind of his training program director, who was hell-bent on ensuring that Bijal at least completed the first foundation year. She told me she would feel that she had failed in her duty as program director if Bijal couldn’t take his career that far. But by pushing Bijal to continue, when each change of job ended up with him having another breakdown, the consultant was actually prioritizing her own fear of failure over what was best for her trainee. What Bijal taught me is that leaving medicine is rarely straightforward. Despite the persistent stereotype of the Asian family who put pressure on their children to become doctors, Bijal’s family was resigned to him leaving the profession. His parents had seen how unwell he had been at different stages of his training, and they didn’t want him to endure a lifetime of mental illness.

But as we’ve seen throughout the book, it can also be difficult to stay. As happened in my conversation with Deepak, I often have an image of somebody in the middle of a tug-of-war; on the one hand there are powerful forces pulling doctors toward remaining in the profession, while on the other hand there are equally powerful forces that pull them in the opposite direction. The “remain” forces include fear of failure or of disappointing family members; anxieties that all the years of training will be wasted; pride in being a doctor; uncertainty about whether one will find another job and, if one does, whether one will actually be any happier; an appreciation of the security of medical work; and constant input from senior clinicians saying that it will definitely get better soon. The “leave” forces include the terror of making a clinical mistake, exhaustion, resentment about the impact of a medical career on one’s private life, an unwillingness to move around the country in order to progress one’s career, and sometimes a fundamental lack of interest in the profession.


pages: 410 words: 101,260

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce

When achievement motivation goes sky-high, it can crowd out originality: The more you value achievement, the more you come to dread failure. Instead of aiming for unique accomplishments, the intense desire to succeed leads us to strive for guaranteed success. As psychologists Todd Lubart and Robert Sternberg put it, “Once people pass an intermediate level in the need to achieve, there is evidence that they actually become less creative.” The drive to succeed and the accompanying fear of failure have held back some of the greatest creators and change agents in history. Concerned with maintaining stability and attaining conventional achievements, they have been reluctant to pursue originality. Instead of charging full steam ahead with assurance, they have been coaxed, convinced, or coerced to take a stand. While they may seem to have possessed the qualities of natural leaders, they were figuratively—and sometimes literally—lifted up by followers and peers.

When employees in consulting, financial services, media, pharmaceuticals, and advertising companies were interviewed, 85 percent admitted to keeping quiet about an important concern rather than voicing it to their bosses. The last time you had an original idea, what did you do with it? Although America is a land of individuality and unique self-expression, in search of excellence and in fear of failure, most of us opt to fit in rather than stand out. “On matters of style, swim with the current,” Thomas Jefferson allegedly advised, but “on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” The pressure to achieve leads us to do the opposite. We find surface ways of appearing original—donning a bow tie, wearing bright red shoes—without taking the risk of actually being original. When it comes to the powerful ideas in our heads and the core values in our hearts, we censor ourselves.


pages: 161 words: 35,911

Going Self-Employed: How to Start Out in Business on Your Own by Steve Gibson

Albert Einstein, fear of failure

The Future What you are now comes from what you have been and what you will be is what you do now. The Buddha Beasts to Avoid • Over-caution: learn to take risks and when to stick your neck out. The faint-hearted won’t progress. Can you accept that by starting your own business you are a risk-taker? Are you comfortable with risk-taking? • Easy target-setting: while you need to be sensible, fear of failure may make you set your sights too low. • Financial motivations: sounds bizarre, but if you think self-employment is a quick road to riches, you could be in for a rude awakening. Try the lottery or Pop Idol instead. Keep cash in sight, but let other reasons for self-employment be your prime motivators, at least to start with! • Procrastination: or, put simply, over-indulging in thinking and planning and never getting on with it.


pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, pattern recognition, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, technology bubble, web application, Y Combinator

Any entrepreneur that puts financial success as number one generally won't succeed. I know a few who succeed, but it's very rare. They just focus on the one thing, I think. Then what else? I think the execution matters much more than the idea itself. I think that's a European vs. US thing. I see two problems. One is their fear of failure, which is much more important in Europe than in the US. Here, [in the US] it's okay if you fail. We accept it. It's obvious. But I guess I should say it: people are much more fearful of failure in Europe. Then, two is the fact that they try to wait for the idea of their life, like a revolutionary idea, and that never comes. I think you should focus. Many people do that great in Europe, of course, but one of the lessons I learned is that you should really find a need, whatever the need, a little niche.


Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, clean water, corporate raider, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, job satisfaction, market design, Ray Oldenburg, shareholder value, The Great Good Place, urban renewal, working poor, zero-sum game

The odds on my coming out of the environment in which I was raised and getting to where I am today are impossible to gauge. How did it happen? The sun shone on me, it’s true, as my brother, Michael, always tells me. But my story is as much one of perseverance and drive as it is of talent and luck. I willed it to happen. I took my life in my hands, learned from anyone I could, grabbed what opportunity I could, and molded my success step by step. Fear of failure drove me at first, but as I tackled each challenge, my anxiety was replaced by a growing sense of optimism. Once you overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, other hurdles become less daunting. Most people can achieve beyond their dreams if they insist upon it. I’d encourage everyone to dream big, lay your foundations well, absorb information like a sponge, and not be afraid to defy conventional wisdom.

Soon after his death, I spent some time with a good friend who has known me since childhood. He was then working in Germany, where I had gone for a trade show. We talked for hours one night over beers, and I discussed my confused feelings about my father. “If your dad had been successful,” he said, “maybe you wouldn’t have had as much drive as you have.” My friend was probably right. Part of what has always driven me is fear of failure, for I know too well the face of self-defeat. I finally came to terms with my bitterness and learned to respect the memory of what my dad was, instead of regretting what he was not. He did the best he could. He passed away before I was able to tell him I understood that. That’s one of the great losses of my life. It was wrong of me to blame him for failing to overcome circumstances beyond his control.


Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situations, and Live Fearlessly by Evy Poumpouras

British Empire, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cuban missile crisis, fear of failure, Lyft, Ronald Reagan, uber lyft, Y2K

Throughout this book, I will share with you my own experiences with fear. From going through some of the most intense training academies in the world to interrogating terrorists and criminals to protecting some of the world’s most high-level targets, fear has shown itself to me time and again, in multiple forms and many ways. I have become intimately familiar with each of them—fear of death, fear of danger, fear of public perception, fear of failure, and fear of following your dreams. These fears are familiar to us all at different times and in varying degrees. One thing I cannot teach you is how to be fearless. Being fearless is bullshit. It isn’t possible to live without fear, and it shouldn’t be necessary in order for you to live a healthy, successful life. Fear is natural, useful, and it keeps us alive. The reason you don’t drive fast is that you fear getting into an accident or getting a speeding ticket.

I recently had a conversation with one of the designers of the training curriculum for the US Army’s Special Operations branch in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. When I asked how they managed to turn average people into elite warriors, she simply said, “We don’t.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “The average person doesn’t apply. People self-select themselves out of the running. So we get only the strongest candidates who already believe they can do the job.” The concept of self-editing is often dictated by our fear of failure. We choose not to be part of a group because we feel we are inadequate. But sometimes it goes beyond that. We can also begin to edit the choices we make in other areas of our lives. We allow our beliefs about what we are and are not capable of to determine what paths we pursue. We can be so terrified of taking risks that we don’t even make the attempt to go after something we want, and something that we may indeed be very good at if we could just give ourselves the chance to try.


The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House by Nada Bakos

Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, fear of failure, feminist movement, meta analysis, meta-analysis, performance metric, place-making, RAND corporation, WikiLeaks

However, by the time I entered my freshman year in high school—in the same building as the elementary school and middle school, because Denton’s population didn’t exactly support multiple schoolhouses—I had lost the confidence I had in my younger years. Some of that may have been a result of my rocky home life. Partly it was apathy, and maybe it was a little boredom, because I never particularly struggled. Mostly, I think, a fear of failure cast a pall of mediocrity over my scholastic career. I couldn’t underperform at what I never tried to achieve. At one point during my freshman year, my mom asked the principal to arrange an IQ test for me so we could pinpoint where I fit in academically. Mom hoped it would boost my confidence—and to my surprise, I was told that I’d tested roughly two to three years ahead of my grade level.

Much of the Agency’s analytical ranks are populated with PhDs and Ivy League degrees, as you would find at think tanks and research facilities. My previous role had given me insight into ways I could benefit the team in spite of my less traditional qualifications, but there are very few people who start in HR at the CIA and later find themselves on one of the fast-paced analytical teams in the building. In the Iraq unit, my fear of failure drove me to almost obsessive ends; I was always scared I might screw something up. That was particularly true because no politician cared what I, Nada, thought about a given issue. Politicians cared deeply, however, about how the CIA assessed critical situations—and I never forgot that in those unbylined products, my word stood as the official Agency position. Doing something wrong wouldn’t ever just be my screwup; it would tarnish the Agency brand to provide expert, objective analysis.


Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, battle of ideas, biofilm, fear of failure, Henri Poincaré, Jacquard loom, Mark Zuckerberg, mutually assured destruction, nuclear paranoia, Saturday Night Live, Vernor Vinge

You are afraid, and in your fear you’ve already failed. You know she is already lost to you—or. Or. Or maybe you can suppress that fear. Can think, act, do, talk; can embrace reason and confidence over raw emotion. Can just go ahead and talk to her, so then maybe, maybe, she’ll talk back to you. And you can smile. Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking science-fiction classic Dune (1965) was rejected twelve times. Herbert did not let fear of failure prevent him from continuing to send the book out until he found a publisher who believed in it. “IF MY DOCTOR TOLD ME I HAD ONLY SIX MINUTES TO LIVE, I WOULDN’T BROOD. I’D TYPE A LITTLE FASTER.” —ISAAC ASIMOV THAT ASIMOV meant what he said is plain to see in the immense library of knowledge and wisdom he imparted to us during his extraordinary lifetime—a library we’ll likely continue to benefit from for time immemorial.


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

To ward off the bogeyman of failure, we keep a safe distance from it. We stay off the edges, avoid healthy risks, and play it safe. If we aren’t guaranteed to win, we assume the game isn’t worth playing. This natural tendency to avoid failure is a recipe for failing. Behind every rocket unlaunched, every canvas unpainted, every goal unattempted, every book unwritten, and every song unsung is the looming fear of failure. Thinking like a rocket scientist requires redefining our troubled relationship with failure. It also requires correcting one of the greatest misconceptions about rocket science popularized by a Hollywood blockbuster. Failure Is an Option In Apollo 13, there’s a scene where a group of rocket scientists are gathered in a room after learning that the spacecraft suffered an oxygen tank explosion on its voyage to the Moon.

Edmondson, Bohmer, and Pisano, “Disrupted Routines.” 80. Edmondson, Bohner, Pisano, “Speeding Up Team Learning.” 81. Edmondson, Bohner, Pisano, “Speeding Up Team Learning.” 82. Lisa Bodell, Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution (Brookline, MA: Bibliomotion, 2016), 130. 83. Jessica Bennett, “On Campus, Failure Is on the Syllabus,” New York Times, June 24, 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/06/24/fashion/fear-of-failure.html. Chapter 9: Nothing Fails Like Success 1. The opening discussion on the Challenger disaster is based on the following sources: Trudy E. Bell and Karl Esch, “The Fatal Flaw in Flight 51-L,” IEEE Spectrum, February 1987, https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6448023; Doug G. Ware, “Engineer Who Warned of 1986 Challenger Disaster Still Racked with Guilt, Three Decades On,” UPI, January 28, 2016, www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2016/01/28/Engineer-who-warned-of-1986-Challenger-disaster-still-racked-with-guilt-three-decades-on/4891454032643; Douglas Martin, “Roger Boisjoly, 73, Dies; Warned of Shuttle Danger,” New York Times, February 3, 2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/us/roger-boisjoly-73-dies-warned-of-shuttle-danger.html; Shaun Usher, “The Result Would Be a Catastrophe,” Letters of Note, October 27, 2009, www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/result-would-be-catastrophe.html; Andy Cox, “Weather’s Role in the Challenger Accident,” Weather Channel, January 28, 2015, https://weather.com/science/space/news/space-shuttle-challenger-weather-role; Chris Bergin, “Remembering the Mistakes of Challenger,” NASA, January 28, 2007, www.nasaspaceflight.com/2007/01/remembering-the-mistakes-of-challenger. 2.


pages: 297 words: 35,674

Slide:ology: the art and science of creating great presentations by Nancy Duarte

fear of failure, Isaac Newton, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telepresence, web application

Getting to this part, though, was relatively easy because you could learn those skills within the safety of the training wheels. It wasn’t until you felt comfortable with these new sensations that you either had someone take the training wheels off or bend them up a bit so you could become familiar with wobbling and the concept of self-balancing. You were keenly aware of the risk of falling and getting hurt. 1. Select a slide that has too many words on it. 222 slide:ology This same fear of failure traps us into not wanting to let go of our heavy text. Letting go is a process, and it takes practice. And yes, possibly falling down. But the practice has a liberating payoff for you and the audience. Great presenters connect with their audience, speak naturally, and allow the slides to enhance their story. But that’s easier said than done! Memorizing an entire presentation may seem difficult and time-consuming.


The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides by Garr Reynolds

deliberate practice, fear of failure, Hans Rosling, index card, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

eBook <WoweBook.Com> The Ten Evils for a Budō Practitioner: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Insolence Overconfidence Greed Anger Fear Doubt Distrust Hesitation Contempt Conceit Although these may be within us, you can see how none of these 10 evils are helpful when making a presentation, performing a piece of music, or teaching a class. All of the 10 listed can be destructive and hold us back—fear and doubt, in particular. Fear holds a lot of us back. It is our fear of failure, our fear of what other people may think. We’re afraid. We’re not sure. So we hesitate, and we fail to act. Popular authors such as Seth Godin call this the Lizard Brain. Confidence, meanwhile, is necessary and important, but overconfidence can sometimes be as destructive as fear. It can also hold us back. Overconfidence, conceit, and contempt also prohibit us from seeing the lessons from people and experiences around us.


pages: 825 words: 228,141

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

3D printing, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, bitcoin, buy and hold, clean water, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Dean Kamen, declining real wages, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, estate planning, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, forensic accounting, high net worth, index fund, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Lao Tzu, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, optical character recognition, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, telerobotics, the rule of 72, thinkpad, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, World Values Survey, X Prize, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game

But here’s the truth: the ultimate thing that stops most of us from making significant progress in our lives is not somebody else’s limitations, but rather our own limiting perceptions or beliefs. No matter how successful we are as human beings, no matter how high we reach personally, professionally, spiritually, emotionally, there’s always another level. And to get there, we have to be honest with ourselves; honest about our unconscious fears. What do I mean? Everybody has a fear of failure at some level; at times we’ve all been fearful that perhaps we are not enough. Even when we know what to do, our fear can keep us from executing our plans. As a result, rather than face our natural fears, what do we do? We come up with stories. Stories about why we’re not where we want to be. Why we’re not smart enough, successful enough, thin enough, rich enough, loved or loving enough. Our stories almost always relate to something outside our control, or our lack of some natural talent or ability.

Luxury item #3 per month ____ $____ per month 4. Monthly income for Financial Freedom (page 222) $____ per month 5. Total monthly income number for Absolute Financial Freedom $____ per month 6. Now multiply that by 12, and you’ll have the annual amount you need for Absolute Financial Freedom $____ per year There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. —PAULO COELHO How do all those numbers you’ve written down look to you now? I hope that you’ve seen how the price of your financial dreams can be much smaller than you ever thought, and that you’ve picked out three to aim for, including at least one short-term goal and one long-term goal. Which of these dreams are your Three to Thrive? The most important for most people—the most common “musts”—are Security, Vitality, and Independence.

(DOL), 146–47, 152 LaChappelle, Easton, 557–59 Lake Wobegon Effect, 334 Lao-Tzu, 26, 29 Las Vegas Sands Corp., 62 Lauer, Matt, 270, 349–50, 485 Lawrence, T. E., 203 leadership, 501 Leape, Jim, 556 learned helplessness, 180 Lee, Bruce, 42 Lehman Brothers, 378 Lewis, JT, 591–93 Lewis, Michael, 7 LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rates), 123, 516 lies we tell ourselves, 183–99, 249 and breakthroughs, 184–99 and fear of failure, 183–84 and fear of unknown, 185 life: as adventure, 291 artificial, 566 balance in, 258, 577 decisions in, 244, 246 as information technology, 566 quality of, 37, 292, 538, 576, 577, 580–82, 583 race of, 233 you as creator of, 226, 229, 246 your stage in, 331–32 lifecycle funds, 157 life expectancy, 31–32, 409, 538 life insurance: borrowing from, 446–47 death benefit proceeds from, 447 PPLI, 443–48 in Security/Peace of Mind Bucket, 309 lifestyle, 209–10, 218 changing, 287–92, 612 and Dream Bucket, 341 moving to another place, 288–91 437 Lifetime Income plan, 46, 170–71, 308, 406–18, 613–14 annuities, 416–18, 419–41 income insurance, 415–16 John’s case, 412–14 Susan’s case, 414–16 Lincoln, Abraham, 19 liquidity, 302, 331 Livermore, Jesse, 525 living trust, 448–49 LL Cool J, 15 Lombardi, Vince, 51 longevity insurance, 426–27 “lost decade,” 107, 357, 366, 396 lottery: in retirement, 412 spending money on, 37, 334 love and connection, 77 luck, 228–29, 343, 412 Lynch, Peter, 354, 400 Magellan fund, 400 Maker Revolution, 559–61 Malkiel, Burton, 49–52, 59, 96–97, 326, 354, 356–58 on compounding, 50–52 on diversification, 325 on dollar-cost averaging, 355, 358, 365, 366 and index funds, 49, 97 on rebalancing, 359, 361 on tax-loss harvesting, 362 Mallory, George, 406, 409 Marcus Aurelius, 381 marketing, 85, 97, 102 market timing, 97, 296 Markowitz, Harry, 297, 379, 472 Marley, Bob, 232 mastery: execution as, 65 levels of, 42 Mayweather, Floyd “Money” Jr., 53–54, 210 McCarty, Oseola, 60–61, 62, 63 McDonald’s, 373–74 McGonigal, Kelly, 190–99 meaning, 575, 580–82 Meat Loaf, 52 Medicare/Medicaid, 149 Mellon, Andrew, 315 Merckle, Adolf, 66, 71–72, 73 Metallica, 314 MF Global, 123 Microsoft, 377 millionaires vs. billionaires, 208–10 minimum wage, 263 mob mentality, 348–49 momentum trading, 325 money: as abstract concept, 3–4 compounding, 35–36, 49–52, 58, 60, 62–65, 256, 364 control of, 14 critical mass of, 33, 58, 89, 90, 408 doubling, 283, 284 emergency/protection fund, 216–17, 302 and emotion, 209, 210 and financial freedom, 5–6 and happiness, 588–91 loss of, 336 love of, as root of evil, 195 to make money, 192 mastery of, 6, 71 nest egg, 58, 257 and power, 3 as reflection of creativity, 193 for retirement, 32, 210–11 spending plan, 253–56 as tool, 3 trading time for, 54 what you earn vs. what you keep, 273 where to put, see asset allocation worry about, 190–91 Moneyball, 65 Moneychimp, 119 money machine, 184, 192, 230, 254 savings as, 55–70 money market deposit accounts, 303 money market funds, 303 money masters: advice from, 455–57 author’s interviews with, 453–55 money pass, 333 Money Power Principles, 57, 230 1.


pages: 176 words: 54,784

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

false memory syndrome, fear of failure, hedonic treadmill, iterative process, Parkinson's law, Rubik’s Cube

And then we have all the mass media that constantly expose us to stellar success after success, while not showing us the thousands of hours of dull practice and tedium that were required to achieve that success. At some point, most of us reach a place where we’re afraid to fail, where we instinctively avoid failure and stick only to what is placed in front of us or only what we’re already good at. This confines us and stifles us. We can be truly successful only at something we’re willing to fail at. If we’re unwilling to fail, then we’re unwilling to succeed. A lot of this fear of failure comes from having chosen shitty values. For instance, if I measure myself by the standard “Make everyone I meet like me,” I will be anxious, because failure is 100 percent defined by the actions of others, not by my own actions. I am not in control; thus my self-worth is at the mercy of judgments by others. Whereas if I instead adopt the metric “Improve my social life,” I can live up to my value of “good relations with others” regardless of how other people respond to me.


pages: 468 words: 145,998

On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System by Henry M. Paulson

asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, break the buck, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Doha Development Round, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, housing crisis, income inequality, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, money market fund, moral hazard, Northern Rock, price discovery process, price mechanism, regulatory arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, too big to fail, trade liberalization, young professional

As I thought through my decision, I recognized that it was simply fear that was causing me such anxiety. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown: the uncertainty of working with a group of people I had never worked with before and managing people I had never managed before. Once I understood this, I pushed back hard against the fear. I wasn’t going to give in to that. I prayed for the humility to do something not out of a sense of ego, but out of the fundamental understanding that one’s job in life is to express the good that comes from God. I always believed you should run toward problems and challenges; it was what I told the kids in camp when I was a counselor, and I now told myself that again. Fear of failure is ultimately selfish; it reflects a preoccupation with self and overlooks the fact that one’s strength and abilities come from the divine Mind.


pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

Stopped-up Europe Four types of barrier hold European enterprise back: education systems that fail to encourage entrepreneurship; a cultural aversion to risk-taking, diversity and many new technologies; flawed regulations that restrict competition, stymie start-ups and hamper smaller businesses; and a shortage of finance. All four are related. For example, punitive bankruptcy laws exacerbate Europeans’ fear of failure. Cartelised markets, burdensome regulations and a lack of risk capital encourage many go-getting Europeans to emigrate. Pessimism about the future can prove self-fulfilling. The problems start young: European education systems generally don’t encourage entrepreneurship. While 59 per cent of Americans think their schooling has helped them develop a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial attitude, only 50 per cent of Europeans and 35 per cent of Britons agree.660 A majority of Americans believe their education has given them the skills and know-how to run a business, compared with 41 per cent of Europeans and a mere 27 per cent of Britons.661 Only 17 per cent of Britons say their schooling has made them interested in becoming an entrepreneur.662 Once they start working, most Europeans prefer the security of being an employee to the excitement, freedom and potential rewards of being an entrepreneur.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s annual survey in 2013, some 13 per cent of Americans (and Estonians) were starting or had started a new business, but only 8 per cent of Europeans (and 7 per cent of Britons).664 Fewer Europeans (31 per cent) perceive opportunities for entrepreneurship than Americans (43 per cent) and fewer think they have the necessary capabilities (42 per cent to 56 per cent). Many Swedes (66 per cent) see opportunities; far fewer have confidence in their abilities (37 per cent). Fear of failure is crippling in Greece and Italy.665 Starting a business inevitably involves the risk of failure. Yet one in two Europeans – and a whopping two in three Portuguese – think that one should not start a business if there is a risk it might fail; only 28 per cent of Americans agree.666 Britons (38 per cent) are the least risk-averse Europeans. Over their lifetimes, more Americans have started a business or are taking steps to do so (38 per cent) than Europeans (23 per cent).667 Only 24 per cent of Britons have and a mere 15 per cent of French people.


pages: 470 words: 148,730

Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems by Abhijit V. Banerjee, Esther Duflo

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, charter city, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, fear of failure, financial innovation, George Akerlof, high net worth, immigration reform, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, land reform, loss aversion, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, Paul Samuelson, place-making, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, smart meter, social graph, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, urban sprawl, very high income, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K

The family’s financial situation improved only when Albert finally got a job running an experimental farm for Institut Mérieux, a French pharmaceutical company. They would stay in Argentina for over ten years before going on to Peru, Colombia, and Senegal. Albert went back to France after his health deteriorated (though he was still quite young), but by then his career trajectory could plausibly be described as a successful adventure. Still, the hardscrabble life surely had taken a toll, and he died shortly after his return. The fear of failure is a substantial disincentive for embarking on a risky adventure. Many people prefer not to try. After all, most of us want to protect an image of ourselves as intelligent, hard-working, morally upright individuals, both because it is simply not pleasant to admit we might in fact be dumb, lazy, and unscrupulous, but also because maintaining a good opinion of ourselves preserves our motivation to keep trying in the face of whatever life throws at us.

This suggests that encouraging migration, both internal and external, should indeed be a policy priority, but that the right way to do it should be not by forcing people or distorting economic incentives, as has been done in the past, but by removing some of the key obstacles. Streamlining the whole process and communicating it more effectively, so workers have a much better understanding of the costs and rewards of migration, would help. Making it easier for migrants and their households to send money back and forth to each other would also help by making migrants less isolated. Given the outsized fear of failure, offering migrants some insurance against failure would be a possibility. When this was offered in Bangladesh, the effects were almost as large as the effect of offering a bus ticket.87 But the best way to help (and therefore perhaps encourage) migrants while making locals more accepting is probably to ease their integration. Offering housing assistance (rent subsidies?), pre-migration matching to a job, help with childcare arrangements, and so on would ensure that any newcomer quickly finds a place in society.


pages: 678 words: 148,827

Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization by Scott Barry Kaufman

Albert Einstein, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, fear of failure, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, impulse control, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Rosa Parks, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, theory of mind

When people high in neuroticism are exposed to uncertain feedback compared to negative feedback, the nervous system delivers an outsize emotion-laden response.17 As psychologists Jacob Hirsh and Michael Inzlicht note, people scoring high in neuroticism “prefer the devil they know over the devil they do not know.” The implications of neuroticism for mental health are tremendous, with some researchers going so far as to argue that neuroticism is the common core of all forms of psychopathology!18 While some people are hypersensitive to cues of threat, most people feel at least some discomfort when facing the unknown. And there are some fears that everyone has to some degree, such as the fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of losing control, fear of losing emotional connection, and fear of losing reputation.19 The ability to reduce, manage, and even embrace uncertainty is important for everyone seeking to develop the whole person. It is critical not only to health and wellness but also to survival. Persistent fear and anxiety can have serious consequences on learning, behavior, and health.20 Repeated exposure to discrimination, violence, neglect, or abuse can have lifelong consequences; they alter connections in areas of the developing brain that are particularly sensitive to stress.

GROWTH CHALLENGE #3: FACE YOUR FEARS This growth challenge involves identifying and facing your psychological fear(s) so that you may better combat the persistent anxieties in daily life that interfere with your health and overall capacity to thrive. You will start by reading through the following Psychological Fears Scale and continue with the exercise prompt.7 PSYCHOLOGICAL FEARS SCALE Fear of Failure 1. I am afraid of failing in somewhat difficult situations when a lot depends on me. 2. I feel uneasy doing something if I am not sure of succeeding. 3. If I do not understand a problem immediately, I start feeling anxious. Fear of Rejection 4. When I get to know new people, I often fear being rejected by them. 5. Being given the cold shoulder when approaching strangers makes me feel insecure. 6.


pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, late fees, lateral thinking, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

PLAN Z: JUMP ON YOUR LIFEBOAT AND REGROUP The reason many people do not embrace trial and error, learning by doing, adaptation, and the other themes of this chapter is because these strategies introduce real uncertainty. It’s easy to say “learn by doing”—but what if you’re not sure what you’ll learn or what you should do? As we’ll talk about in the risk chapter, uncertainty never goes away. Fear of failure never goes away. The way to feel comfortable with these entrepreneurial strategies is to have one plan in your life that’s highly certain. That’s Plan Z: a reliable plan you shift to when you no longer have confidence in Plan A and B, or when your plans get severely disrupted. The certainty of the Plan Z backstop is what enables you to be aggressive—not tentative—about Plans A and B. With a Plan Z, you’ll at least know you can tolerate failure.


pages: 199 words: 57,599

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Donald Trump, fear of failure, high net worth, Maui Hawaii, Parkinson's law, passive income

Maybe they were bothering you at an inopportune time. Maybe they wouldn’t take no for an answer. In any case, it’s important to recognize that this experience is in the past and that holding on to it may not be serving you today. Second, you may have had a disempowering experience when you tried to sell something to someone and that person totally rejected you. In this instance, your distaste for promotion is merely a projection of your own fear of failure and rejection. Again, realize the past does not necessarily equal the future. Third, your issue might come from past parental programming. Many of us were told that it’s impolite to “toot your own horn.” Well, that’s great if you make a living as Miss Manners. But in the real world, when it comes to business and money, if you don’t toot your horn, I guarantee nobody will. Rich people are willing to extol their virtues and value to anyone who will listen and hopefully do business with them as well.


pages: 199 words: 56,243

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, cloud computing, El Camino Real, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, Jeff Bezos, longitudinal study, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple

But the main point was to go big. “There’s a big idea here! Come up with a more courageous path forward.” Dick got the team to be more aggressive, and a few months later they announced a deal to give Google access to Twitter’s data stream. Bill’s perspective was that it’s a manager’s job to push the team to be more courageous. Courage is hard. People are naturally afraid of taking risks for fear of failure. It’s the manager’s job to push them past their reticence. Shona Brown, a longtime Google executive, calls it being an “evangelist for courage.” As a coach, Bill was a never-ending evangelist for courage. As Bill Gurley notes, he “blew confidence into people.” He believed you could do things, even when you yourself weren’t so sure, always pushing you to go beyond your self-imposed limits. Danny Shader, founder and CEO of PayNearMe, who worked with Bill at GO: “The thing I got the most out of meetings with Bill is courage.


pages: 207 words: 57,959

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries by Peter Sims

Amazon Web Services, Black Swan, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, discovery of penicillin, endowment effect, fear of failure, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, PageRank, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, urban planning, Wall-E

And then when I start, I’m always amazed: ‘Oh, that wasn’t so bad.’” Imagine that. After so many successful buildings completed and so many accolades, Gehry still worries, at least at the start of a project, that he’ll fail. One of the most important insights about the growth mind-set and the productive attitude towards failure that it entails is that it is not about not caring about failure. Not even Frank Gehry can inoculate himself from fears of failure. That is almost surely an integral part of the creative process for everyone to some degree, even those who have achieved the most and the most consistently. The key is that we can teach ourselves to think differently about failures and mistakes, seeing them as opportunities for learning and growth. Of course, practicing a growth mind-set is much easier for those who start out with that orientation than for those brought up to have a fixed mind-set.


pages: 177 words: 56,657

Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone

Albert Einstein, Elon Musk, fear of failure, job-hopping, Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, white picket fence

Then, because doubt is your biggest threat and therefore your biggest enemy, in the next chapter we’ll look at how powerful it is to deny something your attention, to make it so weak it loses any hold it once had on you. When you are truly obsessed with things that are good and you constantly feed them, all those things yanking at you—self-esteem issues, introversion, disability, fear of success, fear of failure, or any form of neurosis—fall away. Why? Because you don’t care about them. Your attention is fully on the good stuff. I will never tell you that anything’s impossible, and you should never decide anything’s impossible. A total stranger came up to me recently and said, “I understand your goal is to have seven billion people know your name. You know that’s impossible, right?” I thought, This guy isn’t talking to me.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

“You need to listen twice as much as you talk, because as long as people are preoccupied with their own problems, they are never going to see the bigger issues.” This is something that we found in talking with a lot of misfits working within big organizations, such as David Berdish at Ford or Gib Bulloch at Accenture. It’s important to understand the politics and motivations of the people you work with and the people you are trying to influence. Many people operate from a position of fear—fear of failure, fear of reputation, fear of the unknown. And so you need to be able to stop and ask yourself: What motivates a person at a deeper level? How can I better understand his or her point of view? Don’t forget to turn that mirror on yourself and understand the biases and fears that you bring to a situation. Being a misfit requires that you have a bit of double consciousness: able to see the logic and rationality of others’ viewpoints while maintaining your own conviction.


pages: 229 words: 61,482

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mass immigration, mental accounting, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, passive income, Paul Graham, remote working, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, Y Combinator, Zipcar

To build connections without networking, consider: What ways of Inbound and Outbound Connecting are most authentic for me, and what can I do more of? How can I be more thoughtful in the offers and asks that I make of others? What system can I put in place to maintain stronger connections to the network I already have? Part Two TAKING More TIME OFF · Chapter Five · FACE FEAR BY REDUCING RISK There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. —PAULO COELHO, The Alchemist Fear can be our biggest and worst enemy. It limits our ability to realize our dreams and keeps us trapped in our everyday lives. The fears that hold us back are big, emotional, and often disconnected from the realities of our actual situation. Beth is an example of someone who faced unfounded fears about unlikely outcomes when she first considered starting her own business.


pages: 204 words: 63,571

You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations by Michael Ian Black

Albert Einstein, fear of failure, life extension, placebo effect, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), upwardly mobile

For some reason, I am mildly obsessed with Kevin Federline’s weight gain, which has been substantial over the past few years. A former backup dancer, he now looks like he ate a backup dancer. I do not know why FKF (Fat Kevin Federline) holds such fascination for me. I’ve never met Kevin Federline and do not know anything about him as a person, but I project onto him all the worst fears I have for myself: fear of wasted potential, fear of failure, of losing my family, of making terrible hair decisions. When I see those paparazzi images of FKF, sometimes sporting dopey cornrows, sometimes waddling across some anonymous poolside deck with beer in hand, I imagine a guy who does not know who he is, what he is supposed to be doing, or how he wound up in the unexpected circumstances of his own life. This is how I feel about myself 90 percent of the time.


pages: 219 words: 61,720

American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness by Dan Dimicco

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American energy revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, clean water, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, fear of failure, full employment, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Loma Prieta earthquake, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration

Obviously, there’s more than one way to innovate. There’s innovation that takes place on an incremental basis, there’s game-changing innovation, and there are degrees in between. Nucor has focused on all of it. We are focused on being able to take risks on game-changing technology that no one else is willing to take. And our strong financial position allowed us to do that without being so overly fearful of failure that we didn’t act when opportunities arose. Time and again, whether it was expanding into cold-rolled sheet metal or forming a partnership with Yamato Steel to produce large construction girders or acquiring companies like Auburn Steel and Birmingham Steel, we knew we could take the risks and knew we could not only survive but also thrive if the investments paid off. We have taken advantage of game-changing technologies from day one.


pages: 195 words: 62,082

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes

fear of failure, Google Earth, urban sprawl

Except for that pool of nervous anticipation collecting in the bottom of my stomach, and the buzzing it is making in my head. I am longing to lift that lid. ‘A suspension of disbelief,’ Ellie says on the phone that night, when I call up in a bother to tell her I’m convinced they’ll either leave or die. ‘You have to stop stamping it down so as to make some space for it to happen.’ My feelings are flying about all over the place. What’s got me in a tizz is not the fear of failure or even added responsibility, but the sudden rush of care. I’ve put a lot of thought into how this will work, what makes a good beekeeper – I hadn’t expected to want the bees; I hadn’t expected to feel so implicated. ‘Try not to get so caught up in things,’ Ellie tells me gently, after we’ve said goodbye and before she puts the phone down. I’m not getting caught up in things, I want to say.


pages: 213 words: 67,993

Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self-Criticism Into a Creative Asset by Hal Stone

equal pay for equal work, fear of failure

Your father observes that you are not careful enough when you help him with the chores or when you do your homework, so he points out what you are doing wrong or tells you that you are clumsy or careless. He wants you to be disciplined, careful, and clever. He wants you to be able to figure things out and to solve problems. As you listen to him, you begin to feel pretty stupid. Parents need to succeed in making you a proper person—whatever that means to them—in order to feel good about themselves. Underneath all this is their own insecurity and their own fear of failure as parents. Some aspects of your behavior make your parents pretty uncomfortable. They do not like it when you interrupt them, when you are noisy, when you are angry, or when you cannot sit still. Your curiosity and your sexuality may embarrass them. When you do not obey them, they get annoyed. When they want you to sleep, they want you to sleep whether or not you are sleepy. They want you to eat what they want you to eat, and they do not necessarily take your taste into consideration.


pages: 207 words: 64,598

To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate

Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, desegregation, fear of failure, index card, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight

The ability to perpetrate condensed reflection is not only granted to genius; such skills can be acquired by the apprentice writer as well—first by bluffing, perhaps, but eventually by repetition, as a muscle is taught to stretch—until it becomes a reflex. All it requires is for the emerging writer to give himself or herself permission to try to think in wider terms. The student memoirist’s avoidance of retrospection must finally be seen as part of a larger reluctance to reflect in public. Modesty, fear of failure, and dislike of the arrogance of thought all play their part. Most creative writing students have a surprisingly low estimation of their intellectual equipment (this is true even of those who write brilliant critical papers). They also refuse to believe, fundamentally, that anyone really wants to know what they think. Share their traumas and abuse stories and feelings, yes, but their thoughts, no.


AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War by Tom McNichol

computer age, experimental subject, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Thales of Miletus

The women, who earned $8 to $10 a week, were replaced by a group of Polish immigrants at half the wage. Edison was never motivated by money, but the prospect of his company skidding into insolvency unnerved him. Casting a weary eye over the company’s balance sheet, Edison commented to colleague Samuel Insull, “This looks pretty bad. I think I could go back and earn my living as a telegraph operator.” Behind the nervous joking was the fear of failure. When word of the merger talks with Thomson-Houston reached him, Edison wrote an unusually impassioned letter to Villard. “If you make the coalition [with Thomson-Houston], my usefulness as an inventor is gone,” Edison wrote. “My services wouldn’t be worth a penny. I can only invent under powerful incentives. No competition means no invention. It’s the same with the men I have around me. It’s not the money they want but a chance for their ambition to grow.”


Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride

fear of failure

Some of the traits include: Giving up Numbing the pain with various addictions Staying stuck in self-destructive lifestyles Underachievement Here are some stories of self-sabotaging daughters of narcissistic mothers: Taryn always plays it safe. Rarely can she point out an instance in her adult life where she took risks for what she wanted. “I am an underachiever because of the ‘never feel good enough’ message. The fear of failure keeps me from doing the absolute best. If I keep on the middle road, I don’t have to deal with failure. I have big ideas and aspirations, but they are dreams rather than goals. I think, Oh, that would be nice to do, but I don’t do it. Maybe I wouldn’t be good at it.” Sandra readily describes herself as an underachiever. “I don’t feel the need to be great at anything I do. I was never good enough anyway, so why bother trying?


Rethinking Camelot by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Howard Zinn, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, Norman Mailer, Paul Samuelson, Ronald Reagan

Paul Kattenburg, at the dovish fringe, reported yet another problem: “Chemical defoliation and crop destruction operations are effective weapons against the VC,” but “Present approval procedures are too cumbersome” and “The psychological and civic action aspects of the operation are not particularly good.” The need is for more efficiency and better PR.61 Washington’s coup plans continued, with Ambassador Lodge in operational command. The only hesitation was fear of failure. JFK thought that we “could lose our entire position in Southeast Asia overnight” if the coup plans failed. When the coup finally took place on November 1, replacing Diem and Nhu (who were killed) by a military regime, the President praised Lodge effusively for his “fine job” and “leadership,” an “achievement...of the greatest importance” that “is recognized here throughout the Government.” With the generals now in power, “our primary emphasis should be on effectiveness rather than upon external appearances,” the President added.


pages: 211 words: 69,380

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman

experimental subject, fear of failure, hedonic treadmill, Kibera, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, science of happiness, selection bias, Steve Jobs, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, traveling salesman, World Values Survey

On an individual level, too, no matter how much success you may experience in life, your eventual story – no offence intended – will be one of failure. Your bodily organs will fail, and you’ll die. Yet though failure is ubiquitous, psychologists have long recognised that we find this notion appalling, and that we will go to enormous lengths to avoid thinking about it. At its pathological extreme, this fear of failure is known as ‘kakorrhaphiophobia’, the symptoms of which can include heart palpitations, hyperventilation and dizziness. Few of us suffer so acutely. But as we’ll see, this may only be because we are so naturally skilled at ‘editing out’ our failures, in order to retain a memory of our actions that is vastly more flattering than the reality. Like product managers with failures stuffed into a bedroom closet, we will do anything to tell a success-based story of our lives.


pages: 579 words: 183,063

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

It’s a wonderful intro and answers most of the questions I had when I started. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? Embrace uncertainty, groundlessness, and fear as the place where you’ll really learn and grow. Go into that place, rather than shrinking from it. It’ll help you overcome procrastination, social anxiety, fear of launching your own business or pursuing your dreams, fear of failure and ridicule, and more. Those fears will still be there, but you’ll find the deliciousness in them. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do? I drop into my breath and the sensations I’m feeling in my body. When I feel overwhelmed, I ask myself, “What does this feeling feel like as a bodily sensation, right now?” Not a narrative about my feeling, but actual sensations in my body.

Launching big homemade rockets with my kids and collecting Apollo space artifacts. (I have converted DFJ into a space museum.) If you could have a gigantic billboard with anything on it, what would it say and why? “Celebrate the childlike mind.” From what I can see, the best scientists and engineers nurture a childlike mind. They are playful, open-minded, and unrestrained by the inner voice of reason, collective cynicism, or fear of failure. What is so great about the “childlike” mind? Once again, I highly recommend Alison Gopnik’s Scientist in the Crib to any geek about to have a child. Here is one of her key conclusions: “Babies are just plain smarter than we are, at least if being smart means being able to learn something new. . . . They think, draw conclusions, make predictions, look for explanations and even do experiments. . . .


Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth

call centre, dark matter, fear of failure, Google Earth, rolodex, unpaid internship

‘I wasn’t immune to the kudos,’ I said. Marty nodded. Tyler sipped her drink. Her throat was reddening. My jaw was starting to ache. ‘Far from it. I wanted in. Badly. But then … well, I convinced myself I wasn’t academic enough, I was too creative yadayada, I wouldn’t have time to write blahblah, but really I knew why I didn’t apply. I’d bottled it. Reached my limit with all the trials and tests. Fear of failure – is there a word for that?’ ‘Normal,’ Tyler said. Oh, Tyler, see, you can be so nice when you try … I said: ‘I bet there’s a proper word for it.’ She got out her phone. Tapped on it. Scrolled. Tapped. Scrolled. Squinted. ‘Atychiphobia.’ ‘There you go,’ I said. ‘Also known as the fuse-box.’ ‘Also known as the ego,’ said Marty. I looked at him. He followed me to the bathroom. Locked the door.


The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World's Most Important Number (Bloomberg) by Liam Vaughan, Gavin Finch

asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, buy low sell high, call centre, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, urban sprawl

Its clients have included Citigroup, Fannie Mae, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Following his election in 2008, President Obama named Holder Attorney General—the most senior law enforcement officer in the 104 THE FIX country—and Breuer head of the criminal division reporting to him. Former managers in the division complain Breuer was controlling and risk-averse. Cases they felt were solid were dropped because of what they describe as an institutional fear of failure. Short, with cropped hair, glasses and a nasally voice,Breuer courted journalists and closely monitored how his decisions played out in the press. If Breuer was fixated with the media, that was understandable. When he arrived, the criminal division was mired in scandal and infighting. The previous October, Ted Stevens, the 84-year-old Republican Senator for Alaska, was convicted of failing to report gifts, namely renovations to a house he owned.


pages: 222 words: 76,854

Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

fear of failure, G4S, Mahatma Gandhi, pattern recognition, South China Sea

On top of everything else, I had to develop the ability to run a mental marathon. Chess was a constant challenge. My whole career, my father and I searched out opponents who were a little stronger than me, so even as I dominated the scholastic circuit, losing was part of my regular experience. I believe this was important for maintaining a healthy perspective on the game. While there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders, fear of failure didn’t move me so much as an intense passion for the game. I think the arc of losing a heartbreaker before winning my first big title gave me license to compete on the edge. This is not to say that losing didn’t hurt. It did. There is something particularly painful about being beaten in a chess game. In the course of a battle, each player puts every ounce of his or her tactical, strategical, emotional, physical, and spiritual being into the struggle.


pages: 290 words: 72,046

5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich With Purpose by Nik Halik, Garrett B. Gunderson

Airbnb, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, business process, clean water, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, Ethereum, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, litecoin, Lyft, market fundamentalism, microcredit, minimum viable product, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nelson Mandela, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Skype, TaskRabbit, traveling salesman, uber lyft

They know that problems exist to teach us lessons, as long as our vision is greater than our problems. Productivity, they’ve learned, comes from initiating and working hard in the trenches, not nitpicking and hiding in the lab. In life we never lose — we either win or we learn a valuable lesson. Conquer Perfectionism — Boost Productivity 1. Embrace Failure The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure. Successful entrepreneurs fail quickly and often, knowing it’s precisely what gets them closer to success. Frequent failure means you’re acting. If you keep going forward — and learn the right lessons from your failures — success is inevitable. Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”


pages: 243 words: 74,452

Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck by Jon Acuff

Albert Einstein, fear of failure, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Ruby on Rails, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh

Sure, we can always look back on some Career Do Over and see something we could have done another way. For all I know, she taught swing dancing for a year full time and then tried something else. Why do I let fear hold her up as the poster child for failure, as if choosing the wrong opportunity at twenty-two years old forever crippled that woman’s career? We get a choice: fear or regret. Will you attack your fear of failure, maybe even fail and try again? Cleaning the beach of your life after a wave that crushed you but left lesson upon lesson in its wake? Or will you give up on your Do Over? Believing that kids can dream but adults must settle? Allowing that thin line of regret to trickle over time until it splits your life in half? I choose fear. I choose grit. Let the waves come. ■ Make Grit Decisions If grit is stubbornness in the face of fear, how do we actually make decisions that reflect that?


pages: 237 words: 76,486

Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account From Curiosity's Chief Engineer by Rob Manning, William L. Simon

Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, Mars Rover

By June, the rover’s innards had finally been assembled. Still, the frequent “No’s” to requested fixes that Jim felt would make his avionics subsystem less buggy led to tension and frustration. Not surprisingly, from the perspective of the subsystem engineers like Jim, every “No” increased the complexity of MSL and possibly increased the risk of some sort of failure or anomaly, even if that failure didn’t kill the rover. The fear of failure is something that gnaws in your gut. In this line of work, that feeling never completely goes away even after the spacecraft has landed safely. On a personal level, my physical condition was now significantly improved. A year or so earlier, my doctor had found that my blood pressure had gone through the roof, and was much concerned about my hypertension, and I had added some fifteen pounds (6.8 kg).


pages: 296 words: 78,227

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More With Less by Richard Koch

Albert Einstein, always be closing, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, delayed gratification, fear of failure, income inequality, inventory management, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, profit maximization, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave

Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints, which focuses on improving or exploiting bottlenecks, as a special version of the 80/20 Principle. The idea is to concentrate on the few causes—and usually only one cause—of the bottleneck. That releases enormous power. It strikes me that this theory of constraints, like the principle, applies both to our work and personal lives: • At work, what is the one constraint that, if it were removed, would make us five, ten or twenty times as productive? For you, is it your boss, your fear of failure, your lack of qualifications, your inability to choose what you work on, your lack of the right collaborator, or something else altogether? What is the constraint, what stops you from enormous improvement? If you identify the constraint, you can then work on a campaign to remove it. • In your private life, what is the one thing that stops you making the best of your life and bringing happiness to the people you care about?


pages: 192

Kicking Awaythe Ladder by Ha-Joon Chang

Asian financial crisis, business cycle, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, fear of failure, income inequality, income per capita, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, land reform, liberal world order, moral hazard, open economy, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, short selling, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus

However, for a few centuries after its invention in the sixteenth century for highly risky large-scale commercial projects (the British East India Company being the best-known early example), it tended to be regarded with great suspicion. Many people believed that it led to excessive risk-taking (or what today we call 'moral hazard') on the part of both owners and managers. They regarded it as an institution that undermined what was then regarded - along with greed - as one of the key disciplinary mechanisms of capitalism, namely, fear of failure and destitution, especially given the harshness of bankruptcy laws at the time (see section 3.2.4.C). Adam Smith argued that limited liability would lead to shirking by managers. The influential early nineteenth-century economist John McCulloch argued that it would make the owners lax in monitoring hired managers.62 It was also believed, with some justification, to be an important cause of financial speculation.


pages: 224 words: 74,599

Confessions of a Surgeon: The Good, the Bad, and the Complicated...Life Behind the O.R. Doors by Paul A. Ruggieri

fear of failure, job satisfaction, medical malpractice, medical residency

By “old guard,” I mean working until you drop, shouldering blame, and speaking only when spoken to. Today, most surgical training programs are kinder and gentler on many fronts (including the hours). When I was a surgical resident, the opportunity to learn the secrets of surgery from my mentors came at a hefty price, paid in blood (literally, at times), humiliation, tears, and chronic sleep deprivation. During my time as a lowly intern/resident, my work ethic was motivated mostly by fear of failure. I was petrified of screwing up because I knew the blame would come down like a hammer. As an underling, if something went wrong or a patient did not do well, I was to blame. No questions asked. Failure morphed into fear, the fear of looking bad or losing a job. Today, there is even more at risk for me, because failure can turn into a death or a lawsuit. Of course, all blame flowed from the top down.


pages: 261 words: 71,349

The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Beth Buelow

fear of failure, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Skype, Tony Hsieh

When you release attachment, you allow yourself to be more open to opportunities. You are better able to tap into your introvert strengths of listening, reflection, and curiosity—to explore beyond the norm. Introverts prefer going deep rather than wide, focused rather than scattered. If you combine that depth with openness, you are setting a bigger stage for yourself. Maybe even all the world! Releasing attachment has a magical side effect: Our fear of failure diminishes. Even the word failure starts to take on new meaning and release its power over us. We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. —Joseph Campbell Reframing Risk We’re going to wrap up this chapter by revisiting the word risk, because it’s a close cousin of failure, and being able to embrace both is key to your success.


Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Advanced Guide to Building Muscle, Staying Lean, and Getting Strong by Michael Matthews

agricultural Revolution, fear of failure, G4S, Gary Taubes, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial

The ramifications of such negative habits can be deceiving. There are the immediate and obvious effects: you fall behind your peers in your work and are passed over for the promotion, you gain weight and feel lethargic, your health deteriorates, and so forth. Then there’s the insidious: you lose faith in your ability to put your mind to something and see it through; you avoid challenges and opportunities for fear of failure; you criticize yourself, eroding your self-esteem; you become depressed; and so on. Habits cut both ways, though. Forty-five minutes of exercise several days per week, if you do it over a sustained period, can transform your body. Thirty minutes of reading per day, over time, can turn you into an expert in just about anything. An hour or two of more work per day than your peers helps you produce dramatically more than them.


pages: 241 words: 78,508

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

affirmative action, business process, Cass Sunstein, constrained optimization, experimental economics, fear of failure, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, old-boy network, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social graph, women in the workforce, young professional

The current negative images may make us laugh, but they also make women unnecessarily fearful by presenting life’s challenges as insurmountable. Our culture remains baffled: I don’t know how she does it. Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers that women face. Fear of not being liked. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of drawing negative attention. Fear of overreaching. Fear of being judged. Fear of failure. And the holy trinity of fear: the fear of being a bad mother/wife/daughter. Without fear, women can pursue professional success and personal fulfillment—and freely choose one, or the other, or both. At Facebook, we work hard to create a culture where people are encouraged to take risks. We have posters all around the office that reinforce this attitude. In bright red letters, one declares, “Fortune favors the bold.”


pages: 232 words: 71,965

Dead Companies Walking by Scott Fearon

bank run, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, corporate raider, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fear of failure, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, housing crisis, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, McMansion, moral hazard, new economy, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, young professional

I’ve already talked about the terrible habit of averaging down—buying a stock as it drops. That comes directly from an allergic reaction to the idea of failure. Investors don’t want to admit they made a losing decision, so instead of cutting their losses and getting out, they actually double up and triple up on it. Selling a great stock too quickly is the opposite of averaging down, but it is also rooted in people’s fear of failure; they’d rather take a small profit on an investment than risk it going down again. Lynch called these two mistakes, which often go together, “watering the weeds and cutting out the flowers.”* *Peter Lynch interview. Most executives are very smart people. In thirty years of visiting corporate headquarters, I don’t think I’ve ever met a single dumb person who had risen to helm a publicly traded company.


pages: 269 words: 70,543

Tech Titans of China: How China's Tech Sector Is Challenging the World by Innovating Faster, Working Harder, and Going Global by Rebecca Fannin

Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fear of failure, glass ceiling, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, QR code, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, young professional

There are multifunctional superapps, mobile wallets, mobile shopping in groups, mobile videos and streaming, mobile books, and mobile news apps with no editor. This world-on-a-screen is extended by social sharing features baked into these apps. No other country in the world can match China’s startup zeal. Founders in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and China’s tier-two cities are tireless, persistent, and driven to succeed. No fear of failure here; it’s fear of missing out. Entrepreneurs and venture investors schooled in the West at elite universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, and PhDs trained at top engineering schools like MIT, Caltech, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon keep returning to China to make their startup mark. Managers with international experience are recruited from well-known US tech companies to drive global expansion of Chinese companies from Beijing—at least until their lungs protest from the polluted environment.


pages: 269 words: 77,876

Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit From Global Chaos by Sarah Lacy

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, BRICs, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, income per capita, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, megacity, Network effects, paypal mafia, QWERTY keyboard, risk tolerance, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

Employees at startups got an equivalent salary, stock options that may or may not be worth something one day, and general y a more flexible work environment. But this was the curse of the Val ey’s great company-formation, money-making machine becoming common knowledge. It was no longer just the believers and risk takers who played a part in it. In a bid to become the place where there was zero stigma against risk or failure, the Val ey eradicated the things that are good about having a fear of failure. Namely, the rush, commitment, and passion that comes with having skin in the game. End of a High-Tech Era Part of al that me-too investing was the fault of limited partners who put way too much money in the hands of VCs, part of it was the fault of VCs, and part of it was just the by-product of a lul in the technology industry. The great Silicon Val ey cycle that had begun with the semiconductor and rippled through computers and software and laptops and telecom to end with the Internet had just run its course.


pages: 274 words: 72,657

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Cal Newport, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, desegregation, fear of failure, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, school choice, six sigma, Steve Ballmer

It was incubated, no doubt, by her time in sales. But there was something else in her background as well. When Blakely and her brother were growing up, her father would ask them a question every week at the dinner table: “What did you guys fail at this week?” “If we had nothing to tell him, he’d be disappointed,” Blakely said. “The logic seems counterintuitive, but it worked beautifully. He knew that many people become paralyzed by the fear of failure. They’re constantly afraid of what others will think if they don’t do a great job and, as a result, take no risks. My father wanted us to try everything and feel free to push the envelope. His attitude taught me to define failure as not trying something I want to do instead of not achieving the right outcome.” His question, “What did you guys fail at this week?” was a push to stretch. It was an attempt to normalize failure, to make it part of a casual dinner conversation.


pages: 242 words: 73,137

Running the Dream: One Summer Living, Training, and Racing With a Team of World-Class Runners Half My Age by Matt Fitzgerald

fear of failure, index card, Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Near the end of the form (Question #19), I was invited to name the question I’d most like to be asked when Shannon and I met. She now asked me this very question, her lips cocked in a mischievous smile that let me know she had not read my mind but had simply glimpsed my answer in her brief scan of the form. “What am I most afraid of?” I repeated. “Failure. No, scratch that. What I’m most afraid of is letting my fear of failure ruin this experience. There’s a lot at stake for me here. If I run poorly in Chicago, or if I don’t even make it to the start line—which is all too likely given my history—it will be more than just another disappointment for me personally. I’m not doing this for mere ego gratification. I really want to inspire other runners to see how far they can go with whatever amount of talent they have.


pages: 244 words: 78,884

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson, Lou Aronica

fear of failure, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, invisible hand, Ralph Waldo Emerson, science of happiness, Silicon Valley

Schwartz examines family history so carefully is that he sees family background as fundamental to a person’s outlook on career. “I discovered that self-esteem was a critical factor in the career assessment and planning equation. People rise to the level of success that their self-esteem can absorb. Those with low self-esteem don’t feel worthy of the rewards that come with success, however they define it. So often, people will talk about their fear of failure and I will find that it’s a mask for the fear of success. Underneath it is the feeling that I don’t deserve whatever success there might be in life.” Once this part of the autobiography process is over, Dr. Schwartz guides clients through the charting of the highlights of their lives using a method similar to the one developed by Bernard Haldane and popularized by Richard Boles in What Color Is Your Parachute?


pages: 269 words: 72,752

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, Donald Trump, fear of failure, glass ceiling, global pandemic, impulse control, Maui Hawaii, zero-sum game

Freddy couldn’t retaliate when his little brother mocked his passion for flying because of his filial responsibility and his decency, just as governors in blue states, desperate to get adequate help for their citizens during the COVID-19 crisis, are constrained from calling out Donald’s incompetence for fear he would withhold ventilators and other supplies needed in order to save lives. Donald learned a long time ago how to pick his targets. * * * Donald continues to exist in the dark space between the fear of indifference and the fear of failure that led to his brother’s destruction. It took forty-two years for the destruction to be completed, but the foundations were laid early and played out before Donald’s eyes as he was experiencing his own trauma. The combination of those two things—what he witnessed and what he experienced—both isolated him and terrified him. The role that fear played in his childhood and the role it plays now can’t be overstated.


pages: 829 words: 186,976

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver

"Robert Solow", airport security, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business cycle, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, global pandemic, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Laplace demon, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

One moment, they were the king of the hill in high school; the next, they are riding busses between Kannapolis and Greensboro, reading about their failures on the Internet each time they go into a slump. When Sanders sees a talented player underachieving, he wonders, “Is there a desire to succeed to the degree that there’s a failure mechanism kicking in? Is there a fear of failure? Is the desire to succeed significant enough to overcome the fear of failure?” Stress Management and Humility In baseball, even the best hitters fail a majority of the time, and every player will enter a slump at certain points during the season. The ability to cope with this failure requires a short memory and a certain sense of humor. One of Sanders’s favorite scouting tactics is to observe how a player reacts after a rough or unlucky play.


pages: 237 words: 72,716

The Inequality Puzzle: European and US Leaders Discuss Rising Income Inequality by Roland Berger, David Grusky, Tobias Raffel, Geoffrey Samuels, Chris Wimer

Branko Milanovic, business cycle, Celtic Tiger, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, financial innovation, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Long Term Capital Management, microcredit, offshore financial centre, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, rent-seeking, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, time value of money, very high income

Five Principles for Moving Forward 205 the reach of education, and improving educational standards is essential. Greater partnerships between government and business can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of training programs. Reducing and removing barriers to geographical and occupational mobility, such as improving the portability of pensions, can also help. Lastly, we need to explore ways to incentivize mobility, and one of the major obstacles is a fear of failure, a reluctance to take risks. This is an area where governments can help, if only by reforming insolvency laws and procedures to reduce the stigma of bankruptcy. Programs, support networks, and funding to stimulate entrepreneurship can also play a very positive role to incentivize mobility. The media can also play a more constructive role by giving more exposure to responsible business practices and achievements.


The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer by Charles J. Murray

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, fear of failure, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley

His purist approach might have been regarded as naive or unrealistic if he were working for a big auto or aircraft company, but Cray recognized that there was a profound differ- ence between his job and the jobs of engineers at typical Ameri- can corporations. Cray was always on the cusp of revolutionary new technology. His machines couldn't be designed by a commit- tee. Committees, by nature, were always conservative, compro- mising, and fearful of failure. Cray was none of those things. So Cray ignored his management. Using the extraordinary suc- cess of the CDC 1604 as leverage, he bulled ahead. He was going to build a machine fifty times faster than the 1604, and that was that. Late in 1960 Cray gathered the engineering crew for his new ma- chine and moved from 501 Park to the Strutwear Building, a for- mer underwear factory. It seemed a natural move at the time, partly because the engineers could attribute it to the fast growth of the company.


Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity by Bernard Lietaer, Jacqui Dunne

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, conceptual framework, credit crunch, different worldview, discounted cash flows, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, liberation theology, Marshall McLuhan, microcredit, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, Occupy movement, price stability, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban decay, War on Poverty, working poor

And what would a truly cooperative society, which has not existed since the dawning of the Modern Age, look like? In the following chapters, we will explore this available future that stands in such stark contrast to our world today. Success, in the words of Winston Churchill, “consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” The greatest barriers to success so far have been the fear of failure and the failure to learn from mistakes. This page intentionally left blank Chapter Ten TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES Lessons Learned In dreams begin responsibility.1 William Butler Yeats, 20th-century Irish poet and playwright It was hard to contain the emotions that were surprisingly welling up inside while I was standing on the bridge in the small Tyrolean village of Wörgl. The bridge was so different from how it had been described in various books and articles.


pages: 281 words: 86,069

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh

collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, fear of failure

Even now, more than thirty years later, I can see very clearly the dying man’s despairing expression as he looked at me as I turned away. There was a slightly grim, exhilarating intensity to the work and I quickly lost the simple altruism I had had as a medical student. It had been easy then to feel sympathy for patients because I was not responsible for what happened to them. But with responsibility comes fear of failure, and patients become a source of anxiety and stress as well as occasional pride in success. I dealt with death on a daily basis, often in the form of attempted resuscitation and sometimes with patients bleeding to death from internal haemorrhage. The reality of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation is very different from what is shown on TV. Most attempts are miserable, violent affairs, and can involve breaking the ribs of elderly patients who would be better left to die in peace.


pages: 294 words: 83,215

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz

affirmative action, business cycle, fear of failure

These people prepare themselves. They work. They plan. But, after a decade or so, resistance begins to build up, competition for top-level jobs looks rugged. This group then decides that greater success is not worth the effort. They rationalize, “We’re earning more than the average and we live better than the average. Why should we knock ourselves out?” Actually, this group has developed a set of fears: fear of failure, fear of social disapproval, fear of insecurity, fear of losing what they already have. These people aren’t satisfied because deep down they know they have surrendered. This group includes many talented, intelligent people who elect to crawl through life because they are afraid to stand up and run. Third group: Those who never surrender. This group, maybe 2 or 3 percent of the total, doesn’t let pessimism dictate, doesn’t believe in surrendering to suppressive forces, doesn’t believe in crawling.


pages: 257 words: 84,498

Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh

cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, fear of failure, Google Earth, invisible hand, placebo effect, profit motive, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

I am filled with dread and panic. I am told anxiety dreams about examinations are quite common, but I find it curious that it is so locked into my subconscious. When I was allowed back to the university after running away, and after my brief stay in the psychiatric hospital – I continued to see my psychiatrist once a week – I worked frenetically hard and got a good degree, so I do not know why this fear of failure so often haunts me when I sleep. I got out of bed to find that the mountains of the Annapurna range had miraculously appeared, where before there had been only cloud. It’s more as though they had suddenly arrived, in complete silence, from somewhere else, that they had descended from heaven. They towered above us, brilliant white with ice falls, snow fields and glaciers, against the blue sky.


pages: 301 words: 85,263

New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle

AI winter, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, congestion charging, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Snowden, fear of failure, Flash crash, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, late capitalism, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, oil shock, p-value, pattern recognition, peak oil, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stem cell, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, Uber for X, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Stapel, like Hwang, was something of a celebrity in his home country, having published numerous studies that made waves in Dutch society. In 2011, for example, he published one study based on Utrecht’s main train station that seemed to show that people exhibited more racist behaviour in dirty environments, and another claiming that eating meat made people selfish and antisocial.13 Both relied on nonexistent data. When he was exposed, Stapel blamed his actions on a fear of failure and the pressure on academics to publish frequently and prominently in order to maintain their positions. Hwang and Stapel, while outliers, might embody one of the reasons articles in the most prominent journals are more likely to be retracted: they’re written by the scientists making the biggest claims, under the most professional and societal pressure. But such frauds are also being revealed by a series of connected, network effects: the increasing openness of scientific practice, the application of technology to the analysis of scientific publications, and the increasing willingness of other scientists – particularly junior ones – to challenge results.


pages: 244 words: 85,379

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Bonfire of the Vanities, fear of failure, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, old-boy network, pink-collar, telemarketer, traveling salesman, War on Poverty

There may come a point when you want to show what you’re doing to a close friend (very often the close friend you think of first is the one who shares your bed), either because you’re proud of what you’re doing or because you’re doubtful about it. My best advice is to resist this impulse. Keep the pressure on; don’t lower it by exposing what you’ve written to the doubt, the praise, or even the well-meaning questions of someone from the Outside World. Let your hope of success (and your fear of failure) carry you on, difficult as that can be. There’ll be time to show off what you’ve done when you finish … but even after finishing I think you must be cautious and give yourself a chance to think while the story is still like a field of freshly fallen snow, absent of any tracks save your own. The great thing about writing with the door shut is that you find yourself forced to concentrate on story to the exclusion of practically everything else.


The Disciplined Trader: Developing Winning Attitudes by Mark Douglas

Albert Einstein, conceptual framework, fear of failure, financial independence, prediction markets, risk tolerance, the market place

Regardless of the depth of understanding you have of 66 market behavior or what you consciously intend, you will only "give" yourself the amount of money that corresponds to your level of selfvaluation. This concept can be explained with a simple illustration. If you perceive an opportunity, based on your definition or what market conditions constitute an opportunity, and do not follow through by executing a trade, what stopped you? In my mind, there can be only two possible reasons. You were either immobilized by the fear of failure or you are struggling with a belief (value) system that says you don't deserve the money. Otherwise, you would have acted on your perception. SELF-ACCEPTANCE The second theme that provides a foundation for the belief system I am offering is that personal transformation, growth, and learning new skills are a function of self-acceptance. Your intent of learning a new skill or way of expressing yourself is in essence an attempt to create a new dimension of yourself.


pages: 304 words: 84,396

Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success by Matthew Syed

barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, combinatorial explosion, deliberate practice, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Isaac Newton, Norman Mailer, pattern recognition, placebo effect, zero-sum game

When Knight trained in a humble shed, he improved at lightning speed: Equipped with the right state of mind, his appetite for hard work was ravenous, his enthusiasm palpable, his quest for personal transformation relentless. But when he moved to one of the most prestigious sporting facilities in Europe, his development stalled. He had access to every conceivable advantage, but this counted for nothing because he had started to inhabit a very different psychological world: a world characterized by a preoccupation with talent, with wanting to look good, with fear of failure and an aversion to hard work. Today, Knight is back on track. Why? Because Steen Hansen, the Danish-born performance director of English table tennis, realized that Knight’s problem was not technical or tactical, but psychological. His problem was mind-set. Hansen instructed the coaches to abide by the prescriptions of Dweck: to praise effort, not talent; to encourage Knight to embrace failure as a means of realizing his potential; to eulogize personal transformation.


pages: 389 words: 81,596

Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required by Kristy Shen, Bryce Leung

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, barriers to entry, buy low sell high, call centre, car-free, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, follow your passion, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, index fund, longitudinal study, low cost airline, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive income, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the rule of 72, working poor, Y2K, Zipcar

SCARCITY MIND-SET VERSUS ENTITLEMENT MIND-SET Many of my peers grew up way differently than I did. They had gone to summer camp and had gotten cars or tickets to Europe as graduation presents, but after graduation they ended up unemployed and living in their parents’ basements. This baffled me. I had started off poor and made it to middle-class; they’d started off middle-class, so shouldn’t they have been ahead of me? What I later realized is that for them, that ingrained fear of failure was simply . . . missing. When I asked what they were doing to improve their lot, they would say, “I’m sure things will work out,” or “I don’t know, work’s not my thing.” For them, failure was totally an option. I was born into a situation where scarcity was all I knew. But, as we’ve discussed, that mind-set ended up being a blessing in disguise. Since I knew that things could always get worse, the Scarcity Mind-set taught me that money was precious and if I wanted security and autonomy in life, I’d have to earn it.


pages: 254 words: 81,009

Busy by Tony Crabbe

airport security, British Empire, business process, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, fear of failure, Frederick Winslow Taylor, haute cuisine, informal economy, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, low cost airline, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Shai Danziger, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple

Have you taken the time to identify Plan B and a Plan C? Borrow Ideas Look to completely different industries and environments. Who else has solved a similar problem? What can you learn from them? EXPERIMENT Killer Question Try using this killer question in meetings and discussions: “What problem are we trying to solve?” It can have a profound effect. Fail Practice failing constructively, to learn and remove your fear of failure. Deliberately choose an activity or project you think you are likely to fail at; enter it with an intention to learn. Chapter 7 Busy Is a Terrible Brand (Develop a Better Brand) All twenty tables contained three glasses, one marked A, one B and one C. Each glass contained a different beer: Budweiser, Coors and Miller. Damian Horner, a brilliant marketing strategist (and source of many of my best ideas on branding), and I asked the participants at each table to taste the beer and tell us which beer was Budweiser, and we held our breath.


Crushing It! EPB by Gary Vaynerchuk

"side hustle", augmented reality, fear of failure, follow your passion, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat

Social media and technology haven’t made the world any worse than it was before. They don’t change us; they expose us. And that’s not a bad thing. We’re always more effective against the demons we know and can identify than the ones hiding in the dark. All the reasons people throw out to justify why they’re not doing what they say they want to do boil down to one of three kinds of fear, each of which requires a different response. Fear of Failure Well, that’s what people say they’re afraid of, anyway. I think what they’re really afraid of is being judged by people whose opinions mean something to them. I’m not going to minimize this. I know it well. I don’t give a crap what people think, and yet there are days when I will go to ridiculous lengths to turn around someone’s negative opinion of me because I care equally what everybody thinks about me.


pages: 998 words: 211,235

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

"Robert Solow", Al Roth, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Brownian motion, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, experimental economics, fear of failure, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, linear programming, lone genius, longitudinal study, market design, medical residency, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, Ronald Coase, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, spectrum auction, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile, zero-sum game

Gunderson, a psychiatrist at Harvard, they tend “to engage in solitary activities which often involve mechanical, scientific, futuristic and other non-human subjects … [and] are likely to appear increasingly comfortable over a period of time by forming a stable but distant network of relationships with people around work tasks.”25 Men of scientific genius, however eccentric, rarely become truly insane — the strongest evidence for the potentially protective nature of creativity.26 Nash proved a tragic exception. Underneath the brilliant surface of his life, all was chaos and contradiction: his involvements with other men; a secret mistress and a neglected illegitimate son; a deep ambivalence toward the wife who adored him, the university that nurtured him, even his country; and, increasingly, a haunting fear of failure. And the chaos eventually welled up, spilled over, and swept away the fragile edifice of his carefully constructed life. The first visible signs of Nash’s slide from eccentricity into madness appeared when he was thirty and was about to be made a full professor at MIT. The episodes were so cryptic and fleeting that some of Nash’s younger colleagues at that institution thought that he was indulging a private joke at their expense.

When those problems are solved it will be by a young mathematician who attacks them with the hubris, originality, raw mental power, and sheer tenacity that Nash brought to bear on his greatest work. Yet the timing of Nash’s decision to pursue these problems, just as he turned thirty and while he was licking various wounds to what he would later call his “merciless superego,”30 suggests that a fear of failure lay behind his willingness to take unusual risks. Stein’s impression of Nash during their conversations about the Riemann problem is interesting: “He was a little .. . on the wild side. There was something exaggerated about his actions. There was a flamboyance in the way he talked. Mathematicians are usually more careful about what they will assert to be true.”31 But, of course, hubris is not exactly uncommon.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, G4S, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Zipcar

When customers talk about you in public, you’d better have the means to hear and respond. It’s simple for a competitor with a better answer to steal your customers in a flash. New Imperatives Beware the cash cow in the coal mine Encourage, enable, and protect innovation Simplify, simplify Get out of the way Beware the cash cow in the coal mine Sometimes, success can blind you to the oncoming possibility of failure. And fear of failure can keep you from success. When I was TV critic for TV Guide in the mid-1990s, it still sold more copies in a year than any magazine in America. But it was slowly fading, stuck in the first stage of death: denial. Its circulation had fallen from more than 17 million a week to 15 million, then 13 million while I was there (entirely the fault of my bad taste, of course). TV Guide couldn’t keep pace with the explosion of television: Dozens, then hundreds of channels wouldn’t fit on the magazine’s little pages.


pages: 330 words: 88,445

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler

Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize

Let’s start with a standard working definition of creativity. There are plenty to choose from but “the process of developing original ideas that have value” is arguably the most common, so we’ll go with that. The first thing to know about coming up with original, valuable ideas is how deeply this process scares us. Every time we have a creative insight and share it with the world, we come up against some very primal terrors: fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of social ridicule, fear of loss of resources (time, money, access, etc.). There’s significant risk involved in every step of this process. Drilling down deeper, beyond the risk taking involved in idea generation, there’s a second mechanism at work: pattern recognition. When Apple cofounder Steve Jobs said, “Creativity is just connecting things,” he wasn’t wrong.


pages: 291 words: 88,879

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg

big-box store, carbon footprint, David Brooks, deindustrialization, deskilling, employer provided health coverage, equal pay for equal work, estate planning, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

“Animals can also play a role in improving the well-being of people of all ages who are stigmatized,” they conclude. In public, some who live alone may feel stigmatized or stereotyped. But when they’re home, playing with their pet companion, they can hardly feel the bite.31 THE TRUTH IS, eliminating the pain related to living alone is no more possible than eliminating the pain related to living. Some feelings—loneliness, regret, fear of failure, anxiety about what lies ahead—are said to be common among singles. Lori Gottlieb, for instance, depicts single women in their thirties and forties as “miserable,” while Linda Waite describes the unmarried as emotionally unhealthy compared to their married peers. As people who live alone are quick to point out, however, people who are coupled up, or have children, or live with friends and family experience no shortage of difficulties—loneliness included.


pages: 299 words: 88,375

Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America's First Cyber Spy by Eric O'Neill

active measures, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, computer age, cryptocurrency, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full text search, index card, Internet of things, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, ransomware, rent control, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Skype, thinkpad, web application, white picket fence, WikiLeaks, young professional

I dropped my coat and bag, woke up my computer, and scanned my FBI NET messages. One look at the memo waiting for me crushed any thought I had of surviving the day. I wanted to curse out loud. Instead, my leaden fingers hit Print. “Our car wouldn’t start.” I glanced up from my desktop. “I had to help Juliana jump the…” Hanssen’s face stole away my false cheer. I knew without a doubt that my dream portended more than just my fear of failure. Any moment now the gun would appear. His voice cracked the silence between us. “Follow me.” I paused to retrieve the single sheet of paper from the printer beside my desk and followed Hanssen into his office. The memo was still warm. It hung from my fingers like a living thing. Hanssen stopped me and pointed to the TV stand next to the door. I looked from the television, still displaying a CCTV view of Pennsylvania Avenue, to the wooden stand, to Hanssen, perplexed.


Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer, Mark Shatz

Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, elephant in my pajamas, fear of failure, index card, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method, Yogi Berra

And now every presidential candidate needs to make a guest appearance, not only to be toasted but also to increase his popularity by being roasted. And Now a Word From the Prof The formal study of humor in colleges has grown in geometric propor¬ tions despite the doubting colleagues who associate facetiousness with frivolity. The president of my university once told me he disdained humor, because he feared failure. "I've heard some of your speeches," I told him. "And I agree with you." It's the fear of failure, however, that continues to be the biggest draw¬ back. While 90 percent of us claim we have a sense of humor, the number of critics is 100 percent. "I didn't think it was funny." Go argue. Milton Berle ended his years appearing before senior citizens in Miami Beach. Once, a little old lady in the front row kept shouting, "That stinks. I've heard it before." Exasperated, Berle said, "Lady, do you know who I am?"


pages: 310 words: 91,151

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children by John Wood

airport security, British Empire, call centre, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fear of failure, glass ceiling, high net worth, income per capita, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Marc Andreessen, microcredit, Own Your Own Home, random walk, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer

My first all-nighter since graduate school had been successful. I had slept on the floor from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m. As I listened to the lugubrious foghorn protecting the Golden Gate Bridge, I thought about how my faithful sleeping bag had been with me on that initial trip to Nepal and was now also here during the hard part of putting ethereal dreams into solid reality. I resumed work at 6 a.m., fueled by the omnipresent fear of failure. I typed frantically, making a mental note to spell-check later. At 1:45 I dashed off to the local YMCA to shower, shave, and don fresh clothes. Screeching into the parking lot, I saw Bill and Jenny pull up in his red Mercedes convertible. I ducked into the office ahead of them. On the printer’s output tray sat two thick copies of our business plan. I felt like Reggie Miller sinking a clutch three-pointer with a second on the shot clock.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, disruptive innovation, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, uber lyft, Y Combinator, éminence grise

This is organized by Jordan, the twenty-something manager who has read Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and been inspired by Sandberg’s admonition that women should “do what you would do if you weren’t afraid.” Jordan seems to believe that Sandberg’s admonition can be used as the basis of a one-day exercise, which she dubs Fearless Friday. She sends us this email: We’ve got a brilliant team and, at times, it can be hard to innovate due to fear of failure and the pressure of our day-to-day goals. That’s why we’re creating this day to exist in total isolation to work on ANY project that you’re passionate about. The only goal: Be Fearless. I read the email and forget about it. A couple weeks later, on a Thursday afternoon, I’m sitting at my desk when Ashley from the blog team suddenly asks me, “So what are you going to do for Fearless Friday?”


pages: 284 words: 95,029

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day

Airbnb, Desert Island Discs, disintermediation, fear of failure, financial independence, gender pay gap, Mikhail Gorbachev, pre–internet, Rosa Parks, stem cell, unpaid internship

Southgate, who had experienced the bitter sting of public failure as a player when he missed a vital penalty in the Euro 1996 semi-finals, knew first hand how stressful the situation could be. Players’ families were encouraged to join the England camp. Southgate issued a direct plea to the media ‘to decide if they want to help the team or not’. England delivered one of their best ever World Cup performances. The task had not become impossibly daunting, and this fed into a sense of renewed confidence and, ultimately, motivation. By the same token, my own personal fear of failure on the tennis court, which ultimately stemmed from my fear of social rejection and my tendency to fall into a quagmire of self-loathing at the slightest hint of things going wrong, had thrown Harkness’s equation out of balance. I was making myself permanently demotivated. According to Harkness, the key is to separate a sporting loss from your sense of identity. ‘Losing is not a reflection on your potential or on your value as a person,’ he said.


pages: 420 words: 98,309

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson

Ayatollah Khomeini, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, false memory syndrome, fear of failure, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, medical malpractice, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, placebo effect, psychological pricing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, telemarketer, the scientific method, trade route, transcontinental railway, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

"I have not failed," he told the assistant (or reporter). "I successfully discovered 10,000 elements that don't work." Most American children, however, are denied the freedom to noodle around, experiment, and be wrong in ten ways, let alone ten thousand. The focus on constant testing, which grew out of the reasonable desire to measure and standardize children's accomplishments, has intensified their fear of failure. It is certainly important for children to learn to succeed; but it is just as important for them to learn not to fear failure. When children or adults fear failure, they fear risk. They can't afford to be wrong. There is another powerful reason that American children fear being wrong: They worry that making mistakes reflects on their inherent abilities. In twenty years of research with American schoolchildren, psychologist Carol Dweck has pinpointed one of the major reasons for the cultural differences that Stevenson and Stigler observed.


Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime by Julian Guthrie

Airbnb, Apple II, barriers to entry, blockchain, Bob Noyce, call centre, cloud computing, credit crunch, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, new economy, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, phenotype, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, web application, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

She had invested in 1999, but now, as e-commerce companies closed their doors, Sameday was in trouble. It would need to be sold. * * * Theresia dragged herself home every night, telling her husband, Tim, “It’s Armageddon out there.” She felt stuck in the lowest point of a J-curve, where losses dipped below the initial value. A year and a half into her venture career, she still couldn’t shake her fear of failure. She wasn’t afraid of missing a mortgage payment or being out of a job; she could always find another job. Rather, she was afraid she wouldn’t prove to be smart enough, agile enough, for this job. She’d heard of other VCs being ominously “disappeared”—parked in a firm’s portfolio company. A VC who was not going to make it to the next level would just be nudged out of venture and into doing marketing for a faltering start-up.


pages: 299 words: 87,059

The Burning Land by George Alagiah

fear of failure, land reform, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, pre–internet, urban decay, white flight, éminence grise

‘I can’t wait to show Mum and Dad,’ she said, as they walked out of the park. By the time they got back the driver had already returned with a couple of buns and tea for Khethiwe. ‘Sorry, we got distracted,’ Lindi said, sensing Khethiwe’s irritation. ‘Well, it is time to move,’ Khethiwe said. ‘This driver is not from here so we must leave some extra time.’ Suddenly the joi de vivre dissipated. Lindi felt her stomach clench. But it wasn’t the old fear of failure that flooded in, ready to ambush her. She realised, with a clarity that had been absent till now, just how much was at stake. ‘What will you do?’ she asked Kagiso. ‘Exactly as we discussed,’ he said. ‘No, I mean if she’s not there … if it goes wrong.’ She hadn’t dared to ask the question before. ‘It’s not going to go wrong.’ Khethiwe was getting into the car. Lindi reached up and embraced Kagiso.


pages: 337 words: 103,273

The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World by Paul Gilding

airport security, Albert Einstein, Bob Geldof, BRICs, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Climategate, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fear of failure, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Joseph Schumpeter, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, nuclear winter, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, University of East Anglia

Would it be to save our children and our genes in the belief that if society fails in this historic task, we can rebuild a new world from the ashes of the old? This is sometimes an appealing thought, even for me. After all, no one can argue I haven’t had a go at preventing the situation we now face from emerging. So even I have had days when simply withdrawing has its attractions. But then I consider the counterargument. That running away could just be fear of failure and the opportunity for a blameless escape, as argued by the writer Paul Williams, who in 1982 wrote the following in his extraordinary poem “Common Sense”: On the edge of the dream we face our deepest doubts. Now that it all is almost real a terrible fear of success takes hold and we grab desperately, uncontrollably, for failure. One last chance to get off easy. Who among us really wants to save the world, to be born again into two thousand more years of struggle?


pages: 304 words: 96,930

Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture by Taylor Clark

Berlin Wall, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, deskilling, Edmond Halley, fear of failure, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, McJob, McMansion, Naomi Klein, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, The Great Good Place, trade route

Consequently, when Starbucks was spreading across America in the early nineties, its leader wore braces. They made Schultz so self-conscious around reporters that some early profiles called him “timid,” with an “apologetic manner”; a New York Times story from 1994 said of him, “He looks like a well-meaning camp counselor.” Schultz floated through school without distinguishing himself, and after he graduated in 1975 he found himself adrift. An intense fear of failure made him ambitious, but he had little idea what he wanted to do with himself. At one point, he even considered acting school. Back in New York, he took an unglamorous sales job with Xerox, for $800 a month. From this experience came two lessons that would serve him well in later years at Starbucks: first, that after making fifty cold sales calls a day, often encountering outright hostility, he could handle rejection; and second, that he was a very good salesman.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, superconnector, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

There’s the obvious need for military secrecy, but more important is the fact that isolation stimulates risk taking, encouraging ideas weird and wild and acting as a counterforce to organizational inertia. Organizational inertia is the notion that once any company achieves success, its desire to develop and champion radical new technologies and directions is often tempered by the much stronger desire not to disrupt existing markets and lose their paychecks. Organizational inertia is fear of failure writ large, the reason Kodak didn’t recognize the brilliance of the digital camera, IBM initially dismissed the personal computer, and America Online (AOL) is, well, barely online. But what is true for a corporation is also true for the entrepreneur. Just as the successful skunk works isolates the innovation team from the greater organization, successful entrepreneurs need a buffer between themselves and the rest of society.


pages: 435 words: 95,864

Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

epigenetics, fear of failure, impulse control, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

Abeles believes this “high-stakes grind in school throughout the formative and fragile teen years leads, like every form of childhood adversity, to a stew of stress hormones flooding our kids’ still-growing brain and body—setting teens up for a lifetime cycle of anxiety and depression, weakening their immune systems, and making them far more vulnerable to infections and cardiovascular disease for the rest of their lives.” Kids are facing excessive societal pressure to perform during the teenage years; they’re caught up in this crazy modern race to get the grades to get into a top college—and are overwhelmed with the fear of failure if they don’t, Abeles says. “They are ticking time bombs for later ill health.” Recently, the American Psychological Association released a nationwide survey called Stress in America, which found that American teens now report that their stress level during the school year is nearly 6 on a 10-point scale—a level considered emotionally unhealthy, and far higher than that cited by most adults.


pages: 317 words: 97,824

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, availability heuristic, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, fear of failure, feminist movement, functional fixedness, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Walter Mischel

So did Walt Disney, getting fired from a newspaper for “lack of imagination” (the creativity paradox, if ever there was one, in full force). So did Thomas Edison, inventing over one thousand failed specimens before he came up with a lightbulb that worked. And so did Sherlock Holmes (Irene Adler, anyone? Man with the twisted lip? Or how about that Yellow Face, to which we’ll soon return in greater detail?). What distinguishes them isn’t a lack of failure but a lack of fear of failure, an openness that is the hallmark of the creative mind. They may have had that same anticreative bias as most of us at one point in their lives, but one way or another, they managed to squelch it into submission. Sherlock Holmes has one element that a computer lacks, and it is that very element that both makes him what he is and undercuts the image of the detective as nothing more than logician par excellence: imagination.


pages: 329 words: 97,834

No Regrets, Coyote: A Novel by John Dufresne

Albert Einstein, always be closing, fear of failure, illegal immigration, index card, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, young professional

Well, let’s start with my self-esteem, shall we? In short supply. Guilt; depression; commitment, or lack thereof; shame; regret; paranoia; aimlessness; meaninglessness; dullness; delusions; claustrophobia; fear of dying too soon; fear of living too long. You’re breaking up, Doctor. Hold on.” I walked to the center of the bar. “That’s better. Where were we? Did I mention guilt? Anger. Anxiety. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of intimacy, fear of nonchalance.” I looked over at Kewpie, who was now being regaled by the Statue of Liberty. “I’ve only got the one bar right now.” I stepped to the door. “There we go. Can you hear me? Okay. My life is in turmoil. We could start there. That should keep us busy.” I stepped out of the bar. “No, that’s Friday the thirteenth, and I don’t plan to go out of the house.


Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth by Steve Pavlina

Buckminster Fuller, fear of failure, financial independence, placebo effect, side project, unbiased observer

Start listening to that powerful being inside y o u for once. It w o n ' t steer y o u w r o n g . Cowardice Cowardice is the practice of using your power to feed your fears instead of your desires. Instead of creating w h a t y o u w a n t , y o u create w h a t y o u don't w a n t . W h e n y o u worry that exercising your power will cause y o u to make too many mistakes, y o u feed the fear of failure. The truth Is that y o u will sometimes fail. S o m e of your failures may even be spectacular blunders, but that's nothing to worry about. It's better to fail as the powerful being y o u are instead of trying to hide from the truth and live as a mouse. W h e n y o u shrink from failure, y o u only weaken yourself. W h e n y o u make mistakes a n d learn from t h e m , y o u grow stronger. W h e n y o u worry that exercising your power will bring y o u too much responsibility, y o u feed the fear of success.


pages: 350 words: 103,988

Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, Deng Xiaoping, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, first-price auction, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, George Gilder, global village, Hernando de Soto, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job-hopping, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, lone genius, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market friction, market microstructure, means of production, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, ought to be enough for anybody, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, proxy bid, purchasing power parity, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Stewart Brand, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, yield management

Each was subject to intense product-market competition from the many similar firms. Since they were owned by local governments, they could raise funds without a financial market yet could not expect to be bailed out by the government if they failed. They effectively co-opted the local Communist Party officials, who otherwise might have sabotaged the reforms, by giving them a stake in the emerging economy. The fear of failure induced the managers to run the firms efficiently. But these explanations came after the fact; these firms’ success was not foreseen. The township and village enterprises highlight the single most important feature of any program of deep economic reform—its unpredictability. The transition cannot be planned because we cannot know in advance what policies will work. There is much for reformers to do.


pages: 387 words: 110,820

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, loss aversion, market design, means of production, mental accounting, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, washing machines reduced drudgery, working poor, yield management, zero-sum game

The brain’s chemical response to the prospect of good and bad, called by Antonio Damasio and other neuroscientists the “beacon of incentive,” is part of our evolutionary endowment, designed to motivate us to do whatever is necessary to stay alive and reproduce. In prehistoric times the actual taste of fruits and berries was not what got early man out of his cave and foraging. It was the anticipation of that taste. Actually being eaten by a saber-toothed tiger was not what got early man running; it was the dread of being eaten by that tiger. Modern humans benefit from this legacy because it is not failure per se but the fear of failure, not success per se but the prospect of success, that gets us out of bed in the morning. And when it comes to discounts, it is not necessarily the object per se but the anticipation of getting a good deal on that object that motivates us to make a purchase. Some of us more than others are susceptible to the allure of discounts, but none of us is immune. It is for this reason that retailers work hard to frame prices as a good deal even when they are an ordinary deal—or no deal at all.


pages: 335 words: 104,850

Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey, Rajendra Sisodia, Bill George

Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, income per capita, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, shareholder value, six sigma, social intelligence, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Reconnect with your heart. As long as we are alive, it is never too late. We are free in each moment to choose the path of our heart, which never stops quietly whispering to us, urging us to follow it. The second key to successfully following our hearts is to learn how to deal with fear. Fear prevents people from reaching their fullest potential in life. It comes in many flavors—fear of looking ridiculous, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear that we simply aren’t good enough, and sometimes even fear of our own potential greatness. Unfortunately, no one else can overcome our fear for us; we must learn to master it on our own. The most important insight about fear is that it seldom exists in the present moment. It is almost always about the future, something we are afraid is going to happen. When we direct our attention fully into the present moment, fear greatly lessens or disappears.


pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The process has allowed many companies to survive recessions. The potential cost is that ‘zombie’ businesses are allowed to keep going (as has happened particularly in the airline sector) with the result that efficient companies can never earn a decent return. Many commentators think that the risk-taking attitude of American entrepreneurs has been encouraged by the relaxed attitude to bankruptcy. With their fear of failure reduced, executives had plenty of incentives to load their companies with debt. For a start, after the mid-1980s, much of their remuneration came in the form of share options; these gave the managers the right to buy shares at a set price. By borrowing money to invest, or make an acquisition, the executives took a chance on growth. If the gamble worked, profits would soar and they would make millions from their share options.


Antonio-s-Gun-and-Delfino-s-Dream-True-Tales-of-Mexican-Migration by Unknown

Berlin Wall, centre right, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, trade route

“They don’t want to wait for the long term. They want fast money. They want something that’s going to put nice clothes on their back, get them nice cars. As parents, we give them everything they need, but we can’t give them the life-styles of the rich and famous. But when they get out of school, they want that right away. “[Plus] they don’t think they can do certain things. I think it’s a fear of moving on, a fear of failure. Guillermo Tamayo’s a prime example. It’s fear that kept him where he’s at. My son [Álvaro] is at IBP because they feel it’s a necessity. But if him and his wife worked and found jobs somewhere else where they could both go to school, they could do it. Álvaro could work anywhere else. He’s real good at computers, but [IBP] is where he wants to go because he wants the fast buck. . . . Once you get into the meat-packing plant, nothing matters as much as money: ‘If I want something, I just buy it.’


pages: 369 words: 105,819

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President by Bandy X. Lee

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, declining real wages, delayed gratification, demand response, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, facts on the ground, fear of failure, illegal immigration, impulse control, meta analysis, meta-analysis, national security letter, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School

Causes of Other-blamer Behavior As children, Other-blamers were likely exposed to developmental or attachment trauma, such as abusive, shaming, rejecting, or neglectful parenting. Parents who are substance abusers or psychologically troubled often underfocus on a child’s needs. Parents may have exhibited narcissistic or Other-blaming behaviors that the child models. Another possible cause is parents who were permissive or conflict avoiding and did not hold the child accountable. Parents who overfocus on achievement or behavioral compliance can also encourage a fear of failure that may bring on Other-blaming tendencies. These experiences can cause children to feel unloved, unprotected, and inadequate. They may struggle to experience empathy for others and may develop an unhealthy hypersensitivity and overreaction to shaming experiences. While Other-blaming as a shame-management strategy may be adaptive in childhood, it causes difficulties for adult relationships at all levels, from presidential to personal.


pages: 363 words: 109,374

50 Psychology Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, delayed gratification, fear of failure, feminist movement, global village, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lateral thinking, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Necker cube, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

While his brand of therapy may seem hard-nosed, in fact it represents a very optimistic view of people. A Guide to Rational Living helps anyone to understand how their emotions are generated and, crucially, how a reasonably happy and productive life can be yours through more care and discipline in your thinking. Its topics include lessening the need for approval, conquering anxiety, “how to be happy though frustrated,” and eradicating fear of failure. Consistent with its content, the book has a wonderfully clear and straightforward style. Get the updated and revised third edition, which contains a new chapter on research supporting the principles behind, and the techniques of, RET. Albert Ellis Born in 1913 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ellis was raised in New York City. He gained a business degree at the City University of New York, and unsuccessfully attempted a career in business.


pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

He laments the ways time is wasted, important topics are trivialized, and teachers are forced by the administration to fixate on testing instead of teaching for its own sake, which means that students become correspondingly blinkered, obsessed with passing or failing instead of getting truly absorbed in the subject at hand. Online, Aaron found a community that pointed to the possibility of another way of doing things. Far-flung Internet users helped him master the art of computer programming, offering feedback and assistance and encouraging his love of coding—of knowledge—instead of enforcing rote memorization and instilling fear of failure, as a more orthodox student-teacher relationship might. Fear is a big theme of Aaron’s writing on education, as is boredom, and for him the two go together. Like most prominent unschooling advocates, Aaron believes human beings are naturally curious; the problem is that conventional schooling stamps this inherent inquisitiveness out of us. Students are so afraid of getting answers wrong, so terrified of seeing a big F written in red pen, that they retreat into apathy, hedging their bets to finish the required assignments instead of taking the risks true engagement requires.


pages: 350 words: 109,379

How to Run a Government: So That Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don't Go Crazy by Michael Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, deliberate practice, facts on the ground, failed state, fear of failure, full employment, G4S, illegal immigration, invisible hand, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, North Sea oil, obamacare, performance metric, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, school choice, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

Note how different this is from standard policymaking – in a lab, people concentrate full-time for six weeks and have to emerge with solutions and a plan of action. Quite different from the desultory, once-a-month project meetings where there is plenty of talk but little action, and between meetings still less. Idris explains the key to success: … the labs began [with] very, very tall targets, almost what you call impossible targets, targets that will cause you to have fear of failure … If we came with an incremental target … there is no need to transform … [stretch targets] require a radical approach and outside-the-box thinking …9 Then he adds: I always believed this, people actually know the solutions but the reason why they don’t execute it is because there are a lot of roadblocks along the way … The ideas were already there … but to move it from idea to results there are hurdles such as technical hurdles, political hurdles, administrative process hurdles … We were really focusing on ensuring that the hurdles that prevented us from doing this before are now removed in the labs.10 What makes the lab different?


pages: 325 words: 110,330

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace

Albert Einstein, business climate, buy low sell high, complexity theory, fear of failure, Golden Gate Park, iterative process, Johannes Kepler, Menlo Park, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Wall-E

I have seen directors and writers who were stuck and could not get unstuck, because they couldn’t see where to go next. It is here that some of my colleagues have insisted that I am wrong, that “Trust the Process” has meaning—they see it as code for “Keep on going, even when things look bleak.” When we trust the process, they argue, we can relax, let go, take a flyer on something radical. We can accept that any given idea may not work and yet minimize our fear of failure because we believe we will get there in the end. When we trust the process, we remember that we are resilient, that we’ve experienced discouragement before, only to come out the other side. When we trust the process—or perhaps more accurately, when we trust the people who use the process—we are optimistic but also realistic. The trust comes from knowing that we are safe, that our colleagues will not judge us for failures but will encourage us to keep pushing the boundaries.


pages: 407 words: 109,653

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman

Asperger Syndrome, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Edward Glaeser, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, game design, industrial cluster, Jean Tirole, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, school choice, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

You like to resolve ambiguities before moving on: it helps to have as much information as possible about the opponent. You are often underconfident. You’re vigilant and work meticulously, avoiding risks. You work best without time pressure. You perceive the competition inherently as a threat and, ultimately, a great stress. You learn the most from feedback on your mistakes. When gain-oriented, you’re driven by a desire to succeed; when prevention-oriented, you’re driven by a fear of failure. When playing to win, you perceive ties as a loss; when playing not to lose, ties are satiating. Overall, a gain-orientation—playing to win—sustains those during competition. Gain-oriented people are more likely to persevere: as long as they have a fighting chance, they are never willing to admit defeat. The prevention-focused, however, are more likely to lose their motivation to compete along the way.


pages: 362 words: 108,359

The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street by Jonathan A. Knee

barriers to entry, Boycotts of Israel, call centre, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, Corrections Corporation of America, discounted cash flows, fear of failure, fixed income, greed is good, if you build it, they will come, iterative process, market bubble, market clearing, Menlo Park, new economy, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, technology bubble, young professional, éminence grise

All of this would not have been so bad had Kiernan actually become seriously engaged with the ongoing coverage effort on even a few of these accounts. One of the great mysteries was why he did not. Given his natural banking skills, the conventional wisdom was that if Kiernan spent half the time he devoted to office politics on calling CEOs instead, he could have been a great success. My only conclusion is that he must have been far more insecure and have a much deeper fear of failure than his suave exterior betrayed. By staying above the fray he could maintain plausible deniability. If he had become too closely associated with any particular account he would have to risk public failure. I realized, having seen Kiernan in action over the years, that one of his problems was that he had not actually done that many deals. Although a master at spinning even tangentially related experiences into an effective pitch, at times he was reduced to drawing on material well beyond even the tangentially related.


pages: 341 words: 116,854

The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub

Anton Chekhov, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Lindbergh, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, jitney, light touch regulation, megastructure, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal

And this, in turn, explains why both Kaufman and O’Neill strike us today as “modern,” though almost none of their predecessors do. Kaufman was absolutely and utterly a creature of Broadway. He rarely strayed beyond walking distance from Times Square; almost all of his friends were show folk. He kept his job at the Times years after he no longer needed the measly salary, though it’s hard to say whether this was owing to his love of the milieu or his ever-present fear of failure. And Kaufman wrote about what he knew; Broadway gave him his setting, his characters, and his language. The characters in The Butter and Egg Man, for example, speak an almost impenetrable vaudeville slang—“I done six clubs for the wow at the finish, and done it for years!” “Butter and egg man” was the Broadway pejorative for one of the freshly minted midwestern plutocrats who could be counted on to back stage productions; the play’s main character is a starstruck rube from Chillicothe, Ohio, whom a scheming producer separates from his inheritance.


pages: 561 words: 114,843

Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website by Matt Blumberg

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Ben Horowitz, Broken windows theory, crowdsourcing, deskilling, fear of failure, high batting average, high net worth, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, James Hargreaves, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, performance metric, pets.com, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype

But if you can’t do that, and are backing a first time CEO, recognize the risks of that. Mentor, coach, and pay a lot more attention. What does this mean for entrepreneurs and managers? It means that the first time you run a business, you should admit what you are up against. Don’t let ego get in the way. Ask for help from your board and get coaching and mentoring. And recognize that you may fail at some level. And don’t let the fear of failure get in the way. Because failure isn’t fatal. It may well be a required rite of passage. As a CEO, I feel like I’ve made every mistake in the book at least once. I’m sure I’ve made a couple more than once. So this book is my hope to pay forward the lessons of my 14 years of experience as a first-time CEO to other entrepreneurs, whether actual or aspiring. If I can help just one of them not get fired, not go down with the ship, not quit and figure out how to do the job, then I will call this book a success.


pages: 453 words: 117,893

What Would the Great Economists Do?: How Twelve Brilliant Minds Would Solve Today's Biggest Problems by Linda Yueh

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, lateral thinking, life extension, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working-age population

However, the Fed believed that further loosening of monetary policy might pump up the stock market bubble and lead to inflation. Between 1930 and 1933 the US money supply contracted by over a third, coinciding with a raft of bank failures. Between October 1930 and March 1933 there were four major bank runs. Most of these occurred between August 1931 and January 1932, when there were 1,860 bank failures and the money supply fell at an annual rate of 31 per cent. As deposits were withdrawn for fear of failure, banks had less money to lend, so the supply of credit to the economy evaporated, which led to downward pressure on output and prices. It was not just fear of encouraging a further run-up in prices of assets such as stocks that had made the Federal Reserve reluctant to pump money into the economy, where it was especially needed by a banking sector which was haemorrhaging deposits. The US had maintained its membership of the gold standard, an international system of fixed exchange rates.


pages: 374 words: 113,126

The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today by Linda Yueh

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, lateral thinking, life extension, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working-age population

However, the Fed believed that further loosening of monetary policy might pump up the stock market bubble and lead to inflation. Between 1930 and 1933 the US money supply contracted by over a third, coinciding with a raft of bank failures. Between October 1930 and March 1933 there were four major bank runs. Most of these occurred between August 1931 and January 1932, when there were 1,860 bank failures and the money supply fell at an annual rate of 31 per cent. As deposits were withdrawn for fear of failure, banks had less money to lend, so the supply of credit to the economy evaporated, which led to downward pressure on output and prices. It was not just fear of encouraging a further run-up in prices of assets such as stocks that had made the Federal Reserve reluctant to pump money into the economy, where it was especially needed by a banking sector which was haemorrhaging deposits. The US had maintained its membership of the gold standard, an international system of fixed exchange rates.


One Day in September by Simon Reeve

fear of failure, friendly fire, New Journalism, white flight, Yom Kippur War

Al-Gashey claims he felt no fear: “I was just young, full of enthusiasm and drive, and the idea of Palestine and returning there was all that controlled my thinking and my being. We knew that achieving our objective would cost lives, but since the day we joined up we had been aware that there was a possibility of martyrdom at any time in the name of Palestine. We were not afraid, but we felt the apprehension that a person feels when embarking on an important job, the fear of failure.” It was already early morning by the time the terrorists were ready to leave their hotel in the center of Munich for the attack, their bags packed and prepared. Esther Roth and the other Israeli athletes were sound asleep, dreaming of sports victories, when the men from Black September quietly slipped out of their hotel, jumped into two waiting taxis, and drove off towards the Olympic Village.55 3 Negotiations The Black September terrorists may have spent weeks planning their assault on 31 Connollystrasse, but their initial deadline of 9:00 A.M. for the release of their comrades from Israel and German jails was hopelessly unrealistic.


pages: 349 words: 114,914

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Broken windows theory, Charles Lindbergh, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, fear of failure, Ferguson, Missouri, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, jitney, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, moral panic, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, War on Poverty, white flight

I don’t know if Cosby’s call-outs were a cover for the torrent of rape allegations that swirled around him even then. I knew about the allegations. They’d been written about by other journalists. I also know they deserved more than the one line they ultimately occupied in this piece. I had never actually written a story like “This Is How We Lost to the White Man.” I had never written for such a prestigious national publication. I had my own fears of failure lingering. Better to tell a neater story, I reasoned, than attempt the messier one and have to contend with editors I did not then know. But the messier one was truer—indeed, the messier one might well have lent explanatory power to the simple story I chose to tell. And so it happened that in an attempt to analyze, in Cosby’s movement, the lure of the simplistic, I myself fell prey to it. And there was more to be said than even this that I did not say.


Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

First is impostor syndrome, in which someone is plagued with the feeling that they are an impostor, fearing being exposed as a fraud, even though in reality they are not. Surveys indicate that 70 percent of people become inflicted with impostor syndrome at some point in their careers. Have you? Dunning-Kruger Effect When people fall victim to impostor syndrome, they dismiss their successes as luck or deception and focus on their failures or fear of failure. This constant focus on failure can lead to high stress and anxiety, and negative behaviors like overexertion, perfectionism, aggression, or defeatism. You can take the following steps to help people overcome impostor syndrome: Highlight its prevalence (“Everyone’s felt this way before; I’ve felt this way before”). Explain that small failures are expected when you are operating out of your comfort zone.


pages: 412 words: 113,782

Business Lessons From a Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, business cycle, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, cleantech, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invisible hand, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, music of the spheres, Negawatt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, peak oil, renewable energy credits, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, supply-chain management, urban renewal, Y2K

There was 100 percent agreement among the 125 managers there that sustainability was firmly rooted in Interface’s DNA. I took enormous pride and pleasure in that declaration. Back to the Five Ps. We’d certainly made changes in our products and our processes. They were evolving to meet the challenges of our hard climb up Mount Sustainability. Check. But people have to evolve, too. The Play to Win™ program had helped to break down the fears (of failure, of standing out, of saying something that might compromise a career) and given our associates new skills. Check again. Interface had also sponsored Why? conferences for customers, combining the concepts of Play to Win™ and sustainability in an understandable, interactive format that built valuable friendships and lasting relationships. Meanwhile, companies hoping to do business as suppliers to Interface had been put on notice that we would be paying close attention to their own practices.


Remix by John Courtenay Grimwood

clean water, delayed gratification, double helix, fear of failure, haute couture, Kickstarter, linked data

Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth was a habit she’d ditched early on. Having Lady Clare Fabio as a mother didn’t instil a strong desire to leave yourself vulnerable. A fact LizAlec had finally learnt to turn to her advantage when she realized her S3 shadow would be too worried about losing LizAlec to admit she’d flicked down some alley in the Marais and given him the slip. Her bodyguard’s fear of failure had worked for months. Until it half-yearly medical finally threw up bruising on LizAlec’s thighs that her S3 shadow couldn’t explain — and LizAlec wasn’t prepared to. More than anything else, the girl was too embarrassed to admit the blotches were where Fixx’s fingertips had dug into her. But she didn’t have to. The really scary thing was that Lady Clare knew exactly what the marks were: that much was clear from the ice-cold expression in her eyes.


pages: 385 words: 118,901

Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar

Bernie Madoff, Donald Trump, family office, fear of failure, financial deregulation, hiring and firing, income inequality, light touch regulation, locking in a profit, margin call, medical residency, mortgage debt, p-value, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, rent control, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Predators' Ball

Even though he had achieved his life’s dream of running his own firm, he was still unhappy, and he had become dependent on a psychiatrist named Ari Kiev to help him manage his moods. In addition to treating depression, Kiev’s other area of expertise was success and how to achieve it. He had worked as a psychiatrist and coach with Olympic basketball players and rowers trying to improve their performance and overcome their fear of failure. His background building athletic champions appealed to Cohen’s unrelenting need to dominate in every transaction he entered into, and he started asking Kiev to spend entire days at SAC’s offices, tending to his staff. Kiev was tall, with a bushy mustache and a portly midsection, and he would often appear silently at a trader’s side and ask him how he was feeling. Sometimes the trader would be so startled to see Kiev there he’d practically jump out of his seat.


pages: 367 words: 117,340

America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom by Meghan McCain, Michael Black

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, carbon footprint, Columbine, fear of failure, feminist movement, glass ceiling, income inequality, obamacare, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, white picket fence

I want to fight for what I believe in, use my voice, speak out, help make change, and be allowed to wear clothes that make me feel like a sexy woman. Over our first drink of the day, I spill to Michael and Stephie. I spill all of the failures, the paranoias and fears I think most people have on some level or another. That I’m not going to make an impact. That, after Los Angeles, I’m going to freeze up from fear of failure. Michael and Stephie sit across from me wide-eyed and listen to my melodrama. They both share different fears they have about the future, which makes me feel better. We keep drinking and talking and slowly we all get tired. I hug both of them before we head off to bed. As I get undressed and get into bed, my mind is a bit more at ease, and I think about how amazing it is just to be doing this sort of project with both of them and being in Branson on such a beautiful summer night—and that from here on out the end goal in my life is to not end up like Yakov Smirnoff.


pages: 457 words: 125,329

Value of Everything: An Antidote to Chaos The by Mariana Mazzucato

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cleantech, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, European colonialism, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, G4S, George Akerlof, Google Hangouts, Growth in a Time of Debt, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interest rate derivative, Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, rent control, rent-seeking, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software patent, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

These arbitrary distinctions reflect a narrow view of the economy which often results in a public actor being accused of ‘crowding out' a private one - or, worse still, delving into the dangerous waters of ‘picking winners': the state is only supposed to do what the private sector does not want to do, rather than have its own vision of a desirable and achievable future. Public institutions can reclaim their rightful role as servants of the common good. They must think big and play a full part in the great transformations to come, squaring up to the issues of climate change, ageing populations and the need for twenty-first-century infrastructure and innovation. They must get over the self-fulfilling fear of failure, and realize that experimentation and trial and error (and error and error) are part of the learning process. With confidence and responsibility, they can expect success, and in so doing will recruit and retain top-quality employees. They can change the discourse. Instead of de-risking projects, there will be risk-sharing - and reward-sharing. It might also make sense for private enterprises - which benefit from different types of public investments and subsidies - in return to engage in a fair share of activities which are not immediately profitable.


pages: 460 words: 122,556

The End of Wall Street by Roger Lowenstein

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, break the buck, Brownian motion, Carmen Reinhart, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, fixed income, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Northern Rock, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, race to the bottom, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Y2K

CEOs generally received more of their pay in stock, but enough was in cash (or in soon-to-vest shares) that their incentives were also biased toward maximizing short-term “profits.” O’Neal, in 2006, received $48 million, much of it thanks to Merrill’s lofty revenues in CDOs. It is unlikely that O’Neal consciously put Merrill at risk, for he had more to lose—his expected future salary, his reputation, and probably his career—if Merrill went down. But his eight-figure swag established a destructive example for the troops. It dulled his sense of urgency—the fear of failure that drives a manager to worry about the downside. Bankers who took home these enormous paychecks were crafty financiers, but their cleverness served their personal interests first, their clients and shareholders second, and the economy barely at all. The bankers learned to fool the system: to game the rating agencies, to bundle deadbeat mortgages into paper that was triple A and foist it on trusting clients.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Communication technologies could not have hoped to ameliorate all of Haiti’s woes, but there are many areas where, if correctly and widely utilized, coordinated online platforms can streamline this process so that a future version of the Haitian earthquake will produce more good results and less waste in a faster recovery period. Throughout this section we will present a few of our own ideas, knowing full well that the institutional actors in reconstruction settings—the large NGOs, the foreign government donors and all the rest—may be unwilling to take these steps for fear of failure or loss of influence in the future. As we look ahead to the next wave of disasters and conflicts that will occur in a more connected age, we can see a pattern emerging. The mixture of more potential donors and impressive online marketing will create an “NGO bubble” within each postcrisis society, and eventually that bubble will burst, ultimately leading to a greater decentralization of aid and a rash of new experiments.


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, American ideology, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

In 1996, people aged between 20 and 30 launched approximately 35 percent of all start-ups in America; in 2014 they only launched 18 percent of them.25 Start-ups and young ownership is the capitalist version of the canary in the coalmine, warning miners of toxic gases. Naturally, young companies and entrepreneurs only stand for a small part of the economy, but they are sensitive and responsive to trends. Unfortunately, the situation is likely to get worse. A study from Babson College, for instance, confirms that the United States is on a downward trend. About 24 percent of people between the ages of 25 and 34 said fear of failure kept them from aiming at entrepreneurial stardom in 2001. Today, that share has risen to almost 41 percent.26 Out of the pool of existing companies, a smaller share of them can be classified as high-growth firms. Around 3 percent of all firms qualified as high-growth companies in 1994–7, but in 2008–11 that share had been cut by half.27 True, the latter period came amid a crisis–recovery cycle and it may be that declining business dynamism followed on the heels of the general downturn.


pages: 415 words: 125,089

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. Bernstein

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Bayesian statistics, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, cognitive dissonance, computerized trading, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, endowment effect, experimental economics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fermat's Last Theorem, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, linear programming, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, mental accounting, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Norman Macrae, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, spectrum auction, statistical model, stocks for the long run, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

Elements de la theorie mathematique des jeux. Paris: Dunod. Hacking, Ian, 1975. The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas about Probability, Induction, and Statistical Inference. London: Cambridge University Press.* Hald, Anders, 1990. A History of Probability & Statistics and Their Applications Before 1750. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Hancock, J. G., and Teevan, R. C., 1964. "Fear of Failure and Risk-Taking Behavior." Journal of Personality, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 200-209. Hayano, David M., 1982. Poker Face: The Life and Work of Professional Card Players. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Heilbroner, Robert L., 1995. Visions of the Future. New York: New York Public Library/Oxford University Press. Herrnstein, Richard J., 1990. "Rational Choice Theory: Necessary But Not Sufficient."


Autonomous Driving: How the Driverless Revolution Will Change the World by Andreas Herrmann, Walter Brenner, Rupert Stadler

Airbnb, Airbus A320, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, carbon footprint, cleantech, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, crowdsourcing, cyber-physical system, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, demand response, digital map, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, global supply chain, industrial cluster, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer rental, precision agriculture, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Zipcar

Critical thought is required, also concerning the management, as well as the courage to promote lateral thinkers and thus open up the company for new ideas. Making mistakes must be allowed and may not mean the end of a career, as is currently often the case. Digital companies thrive on the courage of their employees, on trial and error, and on the urge to try something out time and again, even if one has so far failed. Instead of encouraging a culture of fear of failure, the willingness to take risks must be encouraged so that employees approach digitisation with courage and commitment. (3) Renew the structure The structure of an organisation also plays an important role in mastering the process of transformation. Car manufacturers have a large number of hierarchies, which are named with all kinds of acronyms and resemble bureaucratic institutions rather than start-up companies.


pages: 540 words: 119,731

Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech by Geoffrey Cain

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double helix, Dynabook, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Internet of things, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, patent troll, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

“For the next ten, fifteen minutes, the CFO talked about whatever he did and how bad it was and how damaging it was,” Skarzynski said. The executive, shamed, scorned, and suffering a devastating loss of face, sat down. The CFO then called on another executive. And he proceeded with a similar self-criticism exchange. “It went on for the most painful two hours,” Skarzynski said. Luckily, he was never called on. But the yelling and shaming of employees—this ingrained fear of failure and loss of face—paid off for Samsung in its own way. In his meetings with America’s carriers, K.T. had a chance to show off the progress that he’d made with his phone developers. K.T. and Skarzynski made a pitch to Sprint in 1999 over dinner in Kansas City. K.T. began with a quality-control demonstration. He held up Samsung’s latest flip phone for the Sprint executives. He attacked it, pulled at it, tried to squeeze and twist the flip cover in every direction, struggling to bend and break it.


pages: 399 words: 122,688

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

banking crisis, corporate raider, fear of failure, fixed income, index card, intangible asset, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley

At last he let out a long sigh and said he knew this was a big job, and, like me, he didn’t trust anyone else to handle it. He said he knew that, when it came to Blue Ribbon, each of us was willing to do whatever was necessary to win, and if “whatever was necessary” fell outside our area of expertise, hey, as Giampietro would say, “No fucking problem.” He didn’t know anything about running a factory, but he was willing to try. To learn. Fear of failure, I thought, will never be our downfall as a company. Not that any of us thought we wouldn’t fail; in fact we had every expectation that we would. But when we did fail, we had faith that we’d do it fast, learn from it, and be better for it. Johnson frowned, nodded. Okay, he said. Deal. And so, as we entered the final days of 1974, Johnson was firmly ensconced in Exeter, and often, late at night, thinking of him back there, I’d smile and say under my breath: Godspeed, old friend.


pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

addicted to oil, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

Among his recent winners was Picasa, a software download sold to Google that helps users organize, edit, and share photos. “I look at the world and see something I don’t like and my immediate instinct is to say, How can I fix that? I don’t think I have better skill than other people to do that, but I have less fear than other people to go out and do it.” Gross argues that a big part of teaching the creative process at any level involves getting people to overcome their fear of failure and plunge ahead when they have an idea. Who taught him that? “Failure,” says Gross. “We have had one hundred companies over the last twenty years and sixty have succeeded and forty failed, and the failures are where I learned everything. Everybody goes through life and sees things and says, ‘I wish that were this way.’” But most people stop there. The successful creators and entrepreneurs are the people who overcome that fear and act.


pages: 453 words: 132,400

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, double helix, fear of failure, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Vilfredo Pareto

Animals’ skills are always matched to concrete demands because their minds, such as they are, only contain information about what is actually present in the environment in relation to their bodily states, as determined by instinct. So a hungry lion only perceives what will help it to find a gazelle, while a sated lion concentrates fully on the warmth of the sun. Its mind does not weigh possibilities unavailable at the moment; it neither imagines pleasant alternatives, nor is it disturbed by fears of failure. Animals suffer just as we do when their biologically programmed goals are frustrated. They feel the pangs of hunger, pain, and unsatisfied sexual urges. Dogs bred to be friends to man grow distraught when left alone by their masters. But animals other than man are not in a position to be the cause of their own suffering; they are not evolved enough to be able to feel confusion and despair even after all their needs are satisfied.


pages: 428 words: 136,945

The Happiness Effect: How Social Media Is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost by Donna Freitas

4chan, fear of failure, Joan Didion, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Skype, Snapchat, Year of Magical Thinking

It gives her the means to explore different ways that people might perceive her and different ways that she perceives herself. But this can be negative, as well, she says, “because you can spend all your time focusing on how your character is perceived by other people and [wonder constantly] if you are doing the right thing.” Sometimes college students like Lucy become so concerned about not posting anything that could reflect badly on their character that they develop a crippling fear of failure and a concern about “appearing happy” so extreme that it can eventually sound almost pathological. In addition to character, Lucy thinks a lot about online “image.” She doesn’t like that she thinks about this at all—it seems somehow that “you’re not being fully truthful,” she says, to be so concerned about it. Yet, posting that you “got a 4.0 boosts your image,” Lucy says. “So things that I would post would definitely increase my image… .


pages: 455 words: 133,719

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

8-hour work day, affirmative action, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, Burning Man, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deliberate practice, desegregation, DevOps, East Village, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, game design, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, profit maximization, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar, éminence grise

As a working mother friend of mine said, “If there are on-ramps back into the workplace for disgraced politicians like Eliot Spitzer, then why not for parents?” • Understand the neuroscience of how humans work best: pulsing between periods of intense concentration of typically no more than ninety mintues, and breaks to completely change the channel. • Embrace the restorative power of vacation. Allow knowledge workers to daydream or noodle around with an idea without fear of failure. • Draw on the science of human motivation first by giving workers a fair salary and benefits, then allowing them to have greater autonomy, a sense of purpose, and the ability to become masterful at what they do. • Working in a new way does not mean working less. It means working smart. It means a healthier work environment and healthier employees, reduced health-care costs, reduced turnover costs, and reduced absenteeism.


pages: 428 words: 138,235

The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing's Greatest Race, the Americas Cup, Twice by Julian Guthrie

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, cloud computing, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, new economy, pets.com, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, white picket fence, Yogi Berra

Now, Erkelens was doing both jobs, for Larry was simply not around and it was clear that his mind was elsewhere. The events of September 11 had given Larry a new enemy, one that didn’t race yachts. To be sure, whenever Larry felt remotely close to being at risk of failure he couldn’t stop working. And now everything—his country, his business—seemed at risk. Like most overachievers, he was driven not so much by the pursuit of success as the fear of failure. He didn’t build Oracle so he could be richer than Bill Gates. Instead, it was all about Oracle beating Microsoft. He was part of Team Oracle and he wanted his team to defeat every rival. One thing that became more important to Larry after September 11, he told Erkelens, was a certain number for his second America’s Cup boat. The first, USA-71, had already been assigned. “We need to make sure we get seventy-six for our next boat,” Larry said.


pages: 432 words: 127,985

The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry by William K. Black

accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, business climate, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate raider, Donald Trump, fear of failure, financial deregulation, friendly fire, George Akerlof, hiring and firing, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, The Market for Lemons, transaction costs

Individual control frauds should be a central regulatory concern because they cause massive losses. The worst aspect of control frauds is that they can cluster. The two variants of corporate control fraud, “opportunistic” and “reactive,” can occur in conjunction. Opportunists are looking for an opportunity to commit fraud. Reactive control frauds occur when a business is failing. A CEO who has been honest for decades may react to the fear of failure by engaging in fraud. Economists distinguish between systemic risk that applies generally to an industry and risks that are unique to a particular company. Systemic risks can endanger a regional or even a national economy. Systemic risks pose a danger of creating many control frauds. In the S&L case, the systemic risk in 1979 was to interest rates. S&L assets were long-term (thirty-year), fixed-rate mortgages, but depositors could withdraw their money from the S&L at any time.


pages: 487 words: 151,810

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional

Her neck began to hurt and her back was sore. In the morning she’d stare at furious scribbles she had written to herself the night before, completely unable to decipher them. She did things she never thought she would do—cold-calling potential clients and then silently swallowing their dismissive disdain. She’d started this business with dreams of success, but once it was under way she was primarily motivated by fear of failure. It was the thought of the looks she would get from friends and colleagues if her business failed that drove her onward. It was the prospect of having to tell her mother that she’d gone bankrupt. She’d been a driven person since the Academy, but now she became a detail fanatic. She presented potential clients with little binders of her ideas and proposals. If a page was out of line, if one of the plastic spiral things was bent, she went to Code Red.


pages: 1,025 words: 150,187

ZeroMQ by Pieter Hintjens

AGPL, anti-pattern, carbon footprint, cloud computing, Debian, distributed revision control, domain-specific language, factory automation, fault tolerance, fear of failure, finite state, Internet of things, iterative process, premature optimization, profit motive, pull request, revision control, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Skype, smart transportation, software patent, Steve Jobs, Valgrind, WebSocket

We are happiest when we can spend the least effort to get a result or test an assumption quickly, so the architecture has to make this possible. Specifically, that means it must be simple. Jealousy We’re jealous of others, which means we’ll overcome our stupidity and laziness to prove others wrong and beat them in competition. The architecture thus has to create space for public competition based on fair rules that anyone can understand. Fear We’re unwilling to take risks, especially if they might make us look stupid. Fear of failure is a major reason people conform and follow the group in mass stupidity. The architecture should make silent experimentation easy and cheap, giving people opportunities for success without punishing failure. Reciprocity We’ll pay extra in terms of hard work, even money, to punish cheats and enforce fair rules. The architecture should be heavily rule-based, telling people how to work together, but not what to work on.


pages: 475 words: 156,046

When They Go Low, We Go High: Speeches That Shape the World – and Why We Need Them by Philip Collins

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collective bargaining, Copley Medal, Corn Laws, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, invention of the printing press, late capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rosa Parks, stakhanovite, Thomas Malthus, Torches of Freedom, World Values Survey

While evoking her father for the standing he offers in her country, and stressing the continuity of aim, she nevertheless signals a break with him here. Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man’s self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear.


pages: 488 words: 145,950

The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey Into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future by Jon Gertner

American ideology, Charles Lindbergh, fear of failure, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mass immigration, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, trade route

Peary then watched Cook and Gibson begin their journey back home, and he continued to watch as they grew smaller in the distance and then disappeared behind a far hummock of the ice sheet. * * * — Like Fridtjof Nansen before him, Peary eventually wrote an account of his adventures on the Greenland ice. It was an effort to explain the challenges he’d experienced during his first few trips to the Arctic, while glossing over its discomforts, interpersonal tensions, and his private fear of failure.17 Like Nansen’s account, Peary’s drew heavily on his own journals and was published in two volumes; it was well over one thousand pages in length and included long digressions on Inuit culture, sledges, weather, food, and equipment. It is perhaps unsurprising that each man’s personality comes across in his prose. Nansen is witty, engaging, and scientifically insightful. Peary is aloof, authoritative, and scientifically incurious.


pages: 636 words: 140,406

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, future of work, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, hive mind, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, market bubble, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, profit maximization, publication bias, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, school choice, selection bias, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, twin studies, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

In 1999, a comprehensive review of earlier studies found that correcting for IQ reduces the education premium by an average of 18%.7 When researchers correct for scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), an especially high-quality IQ test, the education premium typically declines by 20–30%.8 Correcting for mathematical ability may tilt the scales even more; the most prominent researchers to do so report a 40–50% decline in the education premium for men and a 30–40% decline for women.9 Internationally, correcting for cognitive skill cuts the payoff for years of education by 20%, leaving clear rewards of mere years of schooling in all 23 countries studied.10 The highest serious estimate finds the education premium falls 50% after correcting for students’ twelfth-grade math, reading, and vocabulary scores, self-perception, perceived teacher ranking, family background, and location.11 A thinner body of research weighs the importance of so-called noncognitive abilities such as conscientiousness and conformity.12 The results parallel those for IQ: noncognitive ability pays, and correcting for noncognitive ability reduces the education premium. Correcting for AFQT, self-esteem, and fatalism (belief about the importance of luck versus effort) reduces the education premium by a total of 30%.13 The sole study correcting for detailed personality tests finds the education premium falls 13%.14 The highest serious estimate says that once you correct for intelligence and background, correcting for attitudes (such as fear of failure, personal efficacy, and trust) and personal behavior (such as church attendance, television viewing, and cleanliness) further cuts the education premium by 37%.15 There are admittedly two big reasons to mistrust these basic results: reverse causation and missing abilities. The former could systematically overstate the severity of ability bias. The latter could systematically understate the severity of ability bias.


How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight by Julian Guthrie

Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, cosmic microwave background, crowdsourcing, Doomsday Book, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Frank Gehry, gravity well, high net worth, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, low earth orbit, Mark Shuttleworth, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Murray Gell-Mann, Oculus Rift, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, packet switching, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, pets.com, private space industry, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, urban planning

He was angry with Burt for being so antagonistic, but he had seen before how Burt could go from playful to challenging. The men moved forward, but were still sparring like prizefighters heading to the ring. Peter whispered to an aide that he wanted the two separated on the bus. Goldin told Burt that he wanted NASA to experiment with different approaches. Failure was a “way out of mediocrity,” Goldin said loudly. Fear of failure “would keep America grounded,” and expecting perfection was “unfair to the wonderful people at NASA.” Burt shook his head. “You’ve got a budget of fourteen billion dollars. Why don’t you take the money NASA spends on coffee at its centers and do what the XPRIZE people are trying to do? Why don’t you take one percent of that, or a half a percent—you wouldn’t miss it—and just throw it out there for someone to do this stuff?


pages: 807 words: 154,435

Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making for an Unknowable Future by Mervyn King, John Kay

"Robert Solow", Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, algorithmic trading, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, battle of ideas, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, popular electronics, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The exhilaration mixed with trepidation as the mountain climber tackles the notorious (Sir Edmund) Hillary step, the last major obstacle in the ascent of Everest. The complex mixture of feelings experienced by Fermi and his Los Alamos colleagues as they awaited the first nuclear explosion in the New Mexico desert. As we take the Hillary step (neither of us has or intends to) there is the present fear of failure, or worse, and the prospective exhilaration of reaching the summit. Fermi and his colleagues experienced one set of emotions as they set in train events of literally world-shaking significance, and expected another when they knew the outcome. Risk is something all of us feel emotionally, and we will see in chapter 9 that there are good evolutionary reasons for this. Once we move away from the small worlds of repeated events, known frequency distributions, and pay-offs which are small relative to existing wealth, there is simply no basis for the claim that rational decision-makers should maximise subjective expected utility.


Melody Beattie 4 Title Bundle: Codependent No More and 3 Other Best Sellers by Melody Beattie: A Collection of Four Melody Beattie Best Sellers by Melody Beattie

Albert Einstein, call centre, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, out of africa, Own Your Own Home, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear: January 10 Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again; you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. —Ralph Waldo Emerson Fear can be a big stopper for many of us: fear of fragility, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of what others might think, fear of success. We may second-guess our next action or word until we talk ourselves out of participating in life. “But I failed before!” “I can’t do it good enough!” “Look at what happened last time!” “What if…?” These statements may disguise fear. Sometimes the fear is disguising shame. After I finished the first two chapters of a book I was writing, I read them and grimaced.

We do not have to shame ourselves or accept shame from anyone else, even those in recovery, for making mistakes. The goal of recovery is not to live life perfectly. The goal of recovery is to live, learn our lessons, and make overall progress. Take a risk. Do not always wait for a guarantee. We don’t have to listen to “I told you so.” Dust yourself off after a mistake, and then move on to the success. God, help me begin to take healthy risks. Help me let go of my fear of failure, and help me let go of my fear of success. Help me let go of my fear of fully living my life, and help me start experiencing all parts of this journey. Self-Love: May 16 “I woke up this morning and I had a hard time for a while,” said one recovering man. “Then I realized it was because I wasn’t liking myself very much.” Recovering people often say: “I just don’t like myself. When will I start liking myself?”


pages: 543 words: 157,991

All the Devils Are Here by Bethany McLean

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, Black-Scholes formula, Blythe Masters, break the buck, buy and hold, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, interest rate swap, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Own Your Own Home, Ponzi scheme, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, telemarketer, too big to fail, value at risk, zero-sum game

As he later related in his memoir, when he first got the call from the White House in the spring of 2006, he agreed to a meeting with the president, but then quickly canceled when John Rogers, the firm’s veteran Washington hand, told him that going to the meeting was tantamount to accepting the offer. Having been through several ineffectual Treasury secretaries, Bush wanted Paulson badly, largely because his Goldman Sachs credential gave him a stature his predecessors had lacked. Paulson was initially deterred by “fear of failure, fear of the unknown,” he later wrote. But he finally said yes. “I didn’t want to look back and have been asked to serve my country and declined,” he later explained. “So I just took the plunge.” He did so after getting an unprecedented agreement from Bush that he would have real power: regular access to the president, on a par with the secretaries of State and Defense, and the ability to bring in his own people.


pages: 574 words: 164,509

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Furthermore, with human applications there is normally a delay of at least one decade between proof of concept in the laboratory and clinical application, because of the need for extensive studies to determine safety. The simplest forms of genetic selection, however, could largely abrogate the need for such testing, since they would use standard fertility treatment techniques and genetic information to choose between embryos that might otherwise have been selected by chance. Delays could also result from obstacles rooted not in a fear of failure (demand for safety testing) but in fear of success—demand for regulation driven by concerns about the moral permissibility of genetic selection or its wider social implications. Such concerns are likely to be more influential in some countries than in others, owing to differing cultural, historical, and religious contexts. Post-war Germany, for example, has chosen to give a wide berth to any reproductive practices that could be perceived to be even in the remotest way aimed at enhancement, a stance that is understandable given the particularly dark history of atrocities connected to the eugenics movement in that country.


pages: 615 words: 168,775

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

AltaVista, Apple II, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer age, discovery of DNA, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, Leonard Kleinrock, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, packet switching, Ralph Nader, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, union organizing, upwardly mobile, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

Bristow concurs: “The thinking moved from ‘We don’t know what we can do, so let’s give it a try’ to ‘You need to prove why you need to do this new product.’ ” Decades later, Alcorn still cannot understand why, at a time when Atari’s revenues were so high that it would have made no discernible difference to the bottom line if the Cosmos hologram system failed, Kassar was unwilling to risk its release. Kassar and the rest of the Warner executive team, in Alcorn’s estimation, were paralyzed by “the fear of failure”: “They weren’t Silicon Valley, they weren’t start-up guys, they were not risk takers—so nothing came out!”55 Even more important than Kassar’s East Coast roots, however, was his lack of technical background. He was a marketing expert who believed, correctly, that much of the success of the VCS had come from the marketing push behind it. He somehow failed to recognize that Atari had a product to market only because its engineers had been given the freedom to develop it.


pages: 554 words: 168,114

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower

addicted to oil, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, bonus culture, corporate governance, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, fear of failure, forensic accounting, index fund, interest rate swap, kremlinology, LNG terminal, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, passive investing, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, price stability, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, transaction costs, transfer pricing, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Although oil imports were predicted by the US Government Accountability Office to rise to 60 percent by 2015, there was no fear of an oil shock. Smart technology that enabled drills to turn corners in rocks miles beneath the surface could be relied upon to produce more oil, and oil’s contribution to industrial production was diminishing. Raymond’s sense of certainty enhanced Exxon’s stature. He and Rex Tillerson were guided by their desire to satisfy their shareholders. They appeared to have no fear of failure. Exxon’s reserves, compared to those of their competitors, were enormous. “Lots of molecules” was a familiar Exxon boast. Convinced that Exxon’s balance sheet could withstand any cycle, Tillerson asserted, “We’ll be the last one standing.” The volatility of prices during the 1990s had convinced Raymond that Exxon should continue on its own terms, without departing from its preordained systematic process.


pages: 613 words: 181,605

Circle of Greed: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to Its Knees by Patrick Dillon, Carl M. Cannon

accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, collective bargaining, Columbine, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, desegregation, energy security, estate planning, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, illegal immigration, index fund, John Markoff, mandatory minimum, margin call, Maui Hawaii, money market fund, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, the High Line, the market place, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

“Just look at some of the facts,” Fields said. “Nineteen of the thirty largest companies in the Silicon Valley have been sued since 1988, with an aggregate settlement value of $500 million … This explosion in speculative litigation has led to less disclosure, not more; companies pursuing more expensive capital rather than the public corporation route; companies hesitant to introduce new drugs and new technologies for fear of failure and the resultant filing of a class action lawsuit.” Following House procedures, Fields yielded the microphone to Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, who invoked a different set of horrors—those perpetrated by corporations—and warned that if the legislation was rushed to the floor, as Republicans seemed hell-bent on doing, Congress would be “tilting the scales of justice sharply” away from the little guy and in favor of heartless corporations that sought profit above all else.


pages: 588 words: 193,087

And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, game design, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, out of africa, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

So, the rumors were true? Have you ever seen a salami chub? Yes, they were true. They were more than true. Anyway, I said, “Mr. Berle, you wanted me to bring some jokes —” “— Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said. “Whatcha got?” I handed him my gags, and he told me to wait a minute. He closed the door, and I just stood there. I can't tell you what I was feeling — but it was mainly terror and worry. Also, fear of failure. I was really petrified. About five minutes later, he opened the door again. Now he's wearing a bathrobe, and he said, “Some of these jokes are pretty good, so I'll tell you what. You know where the Park Central hotel is? It's six blocks away. Run there, and go up to an office on the second floor where my agent works. He'll give you a check. Then come back, because we're going to work all night.”


pages: 687 words: 204,164

Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe

Bonfire of the Vanities, deskilling, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fear of failure, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, industrial robot, l'esprit de l'escalier

Restaurants in Miami didn’t come any grander than Chez Toi, or so Norman informed her. She had never heard of it before. Chez Toi!! Norman went on about it in tones of socially religious awe. Oh, he was excited, too, Norman was, but not even remotely the way she was. Sometimes her heart literally, literally, beat faster just thinking about it… which is to say, about Sergei. She could actually feel it speed up beneath her breastbone from fear of failure in his eyes… What should she wear? She didn’t possess one thread of clothing that could possibly impress these Chez Toi people… or him. She’d just have to go à la cubana… flash plenty of cubana cleavage… turn her eye sockets into nightclub-black pools with two gleaming orbs floating in them… have her long hair cascading down to her shoulders as full-bodied as she and Fructis shampoo, conditioner, and a Conair hair dryer could possibly manage… turn her dress, any dress, into nothing but a sheet of Cling Wrap around her breasts, her waist, her hips, her “butt,” and her upper thighs… only the upper thighs… at least eighteen inches above the knee… She’ll lift this whole production up close to six inches on stiletto heels.


pages: 1,380 words: 190,710

Building Secure and Reliable Systems: Best Practices for Designing, Implementing, and Maintaining Systems by Heather Adkins, Betsy Beyer, Paul Blankinship, Ana Oprea, Piotr Lewandowski, Adam Stubblefield

anti-pattern, barriers to entry, bash_history, business continuity plan, business process, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, create, read, update, delete, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, database schema, Debian, defense in depth, DevOps, Edward Snowden, fault tolerance, fear of failure, general-purpose programming language, Google Chrome, Internet of things, Kubernetes, load shedding, margin call, microservices, MITM: man-in-the-middle, performance metric, pull request, ransomware, revision control, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Skype, slashdot, software as a service, source of truth, Stuxnet, Turing test, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Valgrind, web application, Y2K, zero day

Incident response skills are effective only when you use them regularly, so it’s a good idea to use exercises such as tabletops, Red Team attacks, hands-on recovery tests, and disaster role playing to test and refine your organization’s processes. Organizations that embrace the inevitable also study any failures that do occur, including within their peer groups. Internally, they use blameless postmortems—discussed in Chapter 18 of this book and in Chapter 15 of the SRE book—to reduce the fear of failure and build confidence that repeated events will be unlikely. They also make use of after-action reports published by other organizations, both within and outside of their industry. These reports provide a broader understanding of failure scenarios that may be relevant to the organization. Using Related Case Studies In 2003, NASA convened the Columbia Disaster Investigation Board, which aimed to understand the root causes of the Space Shuttle Columbia incident.9 The final report is a useful example of how an organization can study the underpinnings of failure to effect significant changes that contribute to a culture of safety and reliability.


pages: 773 words: 220,140

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, invisible hand, Kickstarter, moral panic, nuclear winter, Own Your Own Home, Socratic dialogue

It was two a.m. when Terry Dean stumbled into the emergency room with a penknife stuck in the small of his back at such an awkward angle he couldn't remove it himself. As Eddie pulled out the knife, Terry's open and candid manner, combined with the late-night silence of the graveyard shift, made Eddie confide to his patient his confused feelings--how it felt to be torn between disgust and duty, between obligation and the fear of failure. Basically, Eddie moaned: did he want to be a fucking doctor or didn't he? He admitted that he loathed the idea and it would in all probability drive him to suicide, but how could he get out of it now? How else could he make money? Terry listened sympathetically, and on the spot offered him a high-paying though unusual job: traveling the world and watching over his brother with the aim of helping him out when he needed it.


pages: 747 words: 218,317

Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

fear of failure, index card, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Own Your Own Home

The rapier stars glinted upon his serfdom: dawn reddened on release. He was like a sailor drowned within the hold, who gropes to life and morning through a hatch; a diver twined desperately in octopal feelers, who cuts himself from death and mounts slowly from the sea-floor into light. Within a month a thick hummock of muscle hardened on his shoulder: he bent jubilantly into his work. He had now no fear of failure. His heart lifted like a proud crested cock. He had been dropped among others without favor, and he surpassed them. He was a lord of darkness; he exulted in the lonely sufficiency of his work. He walked into the sprawled chaos of the settlement, the rifleman of news for sleeping men. His fast hands blocked the crackling sheet, he swung his lean arm like a whip. He saw the pale stars drown, and ragged light break open on the hills.


pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler

affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, commoditize, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information asymmetry, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, longitudinal study, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution story, entitled "Georgia Puts Trust in Electronic Voting, Critics Fret about Absence of Paper Trails," 65 is not atypical of coverage at the time, which generally reported criticism by computer engineers, but conveyed an overall soothing message about the efficacy of the machines and about efforts by officials and companies to make sure that all would be well. The New York Times report of the Georgia effort did not even mention the critics. 66 The Washington Post reported on the fears of failure with the newness of the machines, but emphasized the extensive efforts that the manufacturer, Diebold, was making to train election officials and to have hundreds of technicians available to respond to failure. 67 After the election, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the touch-screen machines were a hit, burying in the text any references to machines that highlighted the wrong candidates or the long lines at the booths, while the Washington Post highlighted long lines in one Maryland county, but smooth operation elsewhere.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

I was so shocked that this big burly firefighter wanted love in his meal, and he was right, actually. I was so sullen about cooking that I didn’t. He was a little indignant about that. Now, I try to put love in my meals when I cook. “The second was to make it colorful. . . . It’s very hard for me to do. Everything was kind of gray. And the third was to have three set meals that you make.” Pride Can Be a Tool “For me, pride worked because my fear of failure was way greater than my fear of fire. I didn’t often feel fear of fire, to be totally frank. I’m not trying to pretend I’m so brave. It’s just that I had a bigger fear—humiliation, failure, letting down women. Pride can be a really great motivator.” ✸ A book to give every graduating college student? “I would say The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. It’s a beautiful book by a writer who fought in Vietnam.


Seeking SRE: Conversations About Running Production Systems at Scale by David N. Blank-Edelman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, bounce rate, business continuity plan, business process, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, dark matter, database schema, Debian, defense in depth, DevOps, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fear of failure, friendly fire, game design, Grace Hopper, information retrieval, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, invisible hand, iterative process, Kubernetes, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, microservices, minimum viable product, MVC pattern, performance metric, platform as a service, pull request, RAND corporation, remote working, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ruby on Rails, search engine result page, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single page application, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, source of truth, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, web application, WebSocket, zero day

There are lots of examples of games in computing education in recent times, including Regex Golf, in which players write regular expressions to match given inputs accurately, and Deadlock Empire, in which the players attempt to reveal concurrency problems by acting as a scheduler. Games are effective learning tools because people enjoy them. They are a way to get effortlessly into a flow without fear of failure posing a distraction. They can be social. They have inbuilt and instant feedback, and they have rewards or scoring systems when players get things right. These are all great features of any learning experience. Other forms of active learning exist. Tutorials and discussion groups are a common example. These sorts of learning structures don’t have scores and levels like games do, but they do include active and creative engagement with the material, and feedback should come from tutors and students in the group.


pages: 351 words: 102,379

Too big to fail: the inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system from crisis--and themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin

affirmative action, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, break the buck, BRICs, business cycle, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Emanuel Derman, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, naked short selling, NetJets, Northern Rock, oil shock, paper trading, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, too big to fail, value at risk, éminence grise

On the first Sunday afternoon of May, he found himself fretting in his home in Georgetown, wondering whether he had given Paulson bad advice. He finally picked up the phone and called Bolten. “I know Hank told you no,” he told him, “but if the president really wants him, you should ask him again.” When Bolten called and repeated his pitch, Paulson wondered whether his resistance to the overtures was really a matter of a fear of failure. At Goldman he was known as someone who “runs to problems.” Was he now running away from them? Paulson is a devout Christian Scientist and, like most members of the faith, he deeply admires the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, who, seeking to reclaim early Christianity’s focus on healing, founded the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston in 1879. “Fear is the fountain of sickness,” she wrote.


pages: 1,057 words: 239,915

The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 by Adam Tooze

anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, credit crunch, failed state, fear of failure, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, German hyperinflation, imperial preference, labour mobility, liberal world order, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, price stability, reserve currency, Right to Buy, the payments system, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, zero-sum game

But the most important is that of a dialectical reaction and supersession. Not only Stalin, but the Japanese, German and Italian insurgents of the 1930s were impelled in their radical energy by a sense that at their first attempt they had failed. The Western Powers might squabble and prevaricate. Knowing the costs of full-scale war, both political and economic, they shrank from it. But they did not shrink from fear of failure. In a direct confrontation Britain, France and the United States were to be feared. In 1930 at the London Naval Conference, as they traded battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines, neither the Russians nor the Germans had a navy to barter with. The positions of Japan and Italy were second and third tier. As Stalin reiterated to factory managers in February 1931, at the height of the first, agonizing Five Year Plan: ‘To slacken the pace would mean to lag behind, and those who lag behind are beaten.


pages: 778 words: 239,744

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Burning Man, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, fault tolerance, fear of failure, gravity well, high net worth, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Khartoum Gordon, lifelogging, neurotypical, pattern recognition, place-making, post-industrial society, Potemkin village, Richard Feynman, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, the market place, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl

As before, I painted what I saw: my hands were not imagining but following a map that only I could see, and I saw it perfectly clearly. I knew by old habit how to break the picture into parts and so produce something that made sense to someone without my fractured consciousness, and so I did, no longer wrestling with what was in my mind to force it on to the canvas, but inviting it and making space for it. Without the urgency and arrogance of youth, I found I was content to accept its strictures, and without the fear of failure I did not seek to moderate what came, so that the business of art was to some extent a placid and exploratory one – as one might explore a tornado in a glider, if one did not fear for the structure of the plane. In that earlier encounter, I had traced the outline of a grim leviathan in a forest of numbers – to the stark disapproval of the viewing public, who wanted more in the vein of frozen worlds and bikini astronauts – and now I revisited that unloved image, setting the scene in a vast underground commuter tunnel.


pages: 976 words: 235,576

The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite by Daniel Markovits

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Anton Chekhov, asset-backed security, assortative mating, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Emanuel Derman, equity premium, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, high net worth, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, medical residency, minimum wage unemployment, Myron Scholes, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, stakhanovite, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, traveling salesman, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

Their principal complaints—anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and recurrent insomnia—all involve one or another form of nervous exhaustion. If an Ivy League education was once a patina that burnished a carefree hereditary elite, it has become an open scramble to acquire or retain an elite status that must be won and may be lost. Meritocratic education also produces harms that are less measurable, but no less important. A life subsumed by competition infects students with shallow ambitions and deep and pervasive fears of failure. The infection has grown so severe that an entire genre is now devoted to describing it. Critics variously call elite students “very smart” but “completely confused” with “no idea what to do next,” “zombies,” or, in perhaps the most memorable phrase in the genre, “excellent sheep.” When a group of elite professional school students was recently asked who among them would be willing to spend fifteen hours per week on an intrinsically worthless task in order to gain a career advantage, all said that they would and, moreover, expressed surprise at the question.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business cycle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

Do everything as cheaply as you possibly can. What you want in a startup is this feeling of cheap and hip. Not miserly cheap, but cool, bohemian cheap. That’s what we strove for. Livingston: So investors were your biggest worry? Graham: Probably, but I worried about all the different things that could kill us and all the different ways they could kill us. People start startups to get rich, but what keeps them going day to day is the fear of failure. You’ve said, “OK, I’m starting this startup and I’m going to get all the users and be successful,” and once you’ve told everybody that’s what you’re doing, if you fail you’ll look like a fool. So when we did sell the thing finally to Yahoo, in the eyes of the world, because we got bought, we were a success. Arguably we were already a success, since we had more online stores than anybody else.


pages: 1,042 words: 266,547

Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham, David Dodd

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset-backed security, backtesting, barriers to entry, business cycle, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, index fund, intangible asset, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, low cost carrier, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, secular stagnation, shareholder value, The Chicago School, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, zero-coupon bond

I doubt many owners of private companies are preoccupied with the value of their business on a short-term basis—how different from the public markets, where a rising stock price makes us feel smart and a falling one makes us feel dumb. In my office, when one of our businesses is floundering and the stock is getting pounded, my partners and I start to doubt the reasoned basis upon which we made the investment. Our self-doubts and fears of failure cause us to glimpse catastrophe where once we envisioned opportunity. Or if you prefer the Graham and Dodd condensed version: “Obviously it requires strength of character in order to think and act in opposite fashion from the crowd and also patience to wait for opportunities that may be spaced years apart.” The third factor, greed, has always distorted investors’ behavior, but it is especially present in markets today given the proliferation of hedge funds.


Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy

fear of failure, low earth orbit, nuclear winter, South China Sea, trade route

The cool temperatures and hard physical effort conspired to drain the energy from their bodies as they picked their way around and over the two-thousand-foot hills that dotted the Icelandic coast like so many fence pickets. Several things kept them moving. One was the fear that the Soviet division they had watched airlifted in would expand its perimeter and snap them up. No one relished the thought of captivity under the Russians. But worse than this was fear of failure. They had a mission, and no taskmaster is harsher than one's own self-expectations. Then there was pride. Edwards had to set an example for his men, a principle remembered from Colorado Springs. The Marines, of course, could hardly let a "wing-wiper" outperform them. Thus, without thinking consciously about it, four men contrived to walk themselves into the ground, all in the name of pride.


George Marshall: Defender of the Republic by David L. Roll

anti-communist, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, David Brooks, Defenestration of Prague, Donald Trump, European colonialism, fear of failure, invisible hand, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, one-China policy, one-state solution, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, trade liberalization, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

Marshall had been begging his parents to send him to the Virginia Military Institute. From a room adjoining the kitchen, he heard his brother, who had graduated from VMI in the class of 1894, attempting in vain to persuade his mother that Flicker should not be allowed to attend the Institute because he “would disgrace the family.”8 Stuart was referring to Flicker’s feckless attitude toward school, his shyness, and his fear of failure and rejection. As Marshall recalled later, “The urgency to succeed came from hearing that conversation; it had a psychological effect on my career . . . I decided right then that I was going to wipe [Stuart’s] face, or wipe his eye.”9 Nor would Marshall ever forgive Stuart for the “unkind, unfair remarks” he made about Lily Carter Coles, the flirtatious, titian-haired beauty with whom Marshall fell in love as a senior at VMI, the year he headed his class of thirty-three as First Captain, the highest-ranking cadet.10 In February of 1902, after he had graduated and received his commission in the army, Marshall married Lily in the parlor of the little Gothic cottage at 319 Letcher Avenue near the south Limit Gate of VMI in Lexington, Virginia, where she lived with her widowed mother.


pages: 872 words: 259,208

A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Beeching cuts, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brixton riot, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, congestion charging, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, floating exchange rates, full employment, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, loadsamoney, market design, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open borders, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Piper Alpha, Red Clydeside, reserve currency, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Here the high-risk bets were made on the future value of commodities and currencies, in one of the older buildings of the City, the Royal Exchange. Inside its elegant shell roared an atmosphere borrowed straight from Chicago, likened by startled observers at the time to an ill-bred casino. LIFFE would turn out to be very profitable for the traders, the raucous ‘barrow boys’ pumped up on booze, cocaine and fear of failure who became such an emblem of eighties life, many retiring exhausted and vastly rich by their early thirties. It would also be the scene of broken dreams. It was in the derivatives market that old Barings Bank, one of the grander names of the traditional City, lost its money and died. And so to the next question for the City: for how long could the traditional distinction between brokers, dealing with the public, and the jobbers or wholesalers, dealing only with stockbrokers, be maintained?


pages: 1,073 words: 302,361

Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World by William D. Cohan

asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, hive mind, Hyman Minsky, interest rate swap, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South Sea Bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, traveling salesman, value at risk, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

.” —— WHITEHEAD’S MAIN CONCERN, as Weinberg aged into his seventies, was the prospect of the firm’s investment banking business withering away when Weinberg left the stage. Whitehead figured Weinberg’s business-getting prowess could not be easily replaced, and he—alone, apparently—was increasingly worried about how the firm would carry on without its “ultimate rainmaker.” Ironically, Whitehead reasoned, “it was apparent that our greatest strength was our greatest weakness.” It was this fear of failure that led Whitehead to devise his plan for a New Business Group—a group of ten or more senior bankers who would fan out across the country and touch base with one large company after another to see what, if anything, Goldman Sachs could do for them. Whitehead’s thinking—Marketing 101, really—was highly Cartesian, logical, and totally radical for Wall Street at the time. “No one solicited business,” he recalled.


The Art of Computer Programming: Fundamental Algorithms by Donald E. Knuth

discrete time, distributed generation, Donald Knuth, fear of failure, Fermat's Last Theorem, G4S, Gerard Salton, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, linear programming, linked data, Menlo Park, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, sorting algorithm, stochastic process, Turing machine

Several things about this subroutine should be noted: 1) The sentinel constant appears as the 101st word of each buffer, and it makes a convenient test for the end of the buffer. In many applications, however, the sentinel technique will not be reliable, since any word may appear on tape. If we were doing card input, a similar method (with the 17th word of the buffer equal to a sentinel) could always be used without fear of failure; in that case, any negative word could serve as a sentinel, since MIX input from cards always gives nonnegative words. 2) Each buffer contains the address of the other buffer (see lines 07, 11, and 14). This "linking together" facilitates the swapping process. 3) No JBUS instruction was necessary, since the next input was initiated before any word of the previous block was accessed. If the quantities C and T refer as before to computation time and tape time, the execution time per tape block is now max (C,T); it is therefore possible to keep the tape going at full speed if C < T.


pages: 932 words: 307,785

State of Emergency: The Way We Were by Dominic Sandbrook

anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Doomsday Book, edge city, estate planning, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, financial thriller, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, German hyperinflation, global pandemic, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, sexual politics, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Winter of Discontent, young professional

On the other hand, he regarded all feathered creatures as unlucky, banishing the club’s peacock emblem from his players’ shirts. Even as manager of England in the mid-1970s, he took football’s spiritual side – such as it was – painfully seriously. ‘I believe it will help you if you pray every night before you go to sleep,’ he told his charges during an early meeting, ‘and ask God to help you become better players.’13 Revie’s fear of failure was rooted in the difficult circumstances of his boyhood. To the young footballers plying their trade in the mid-1970s, with their expensive cars parked outside their neat suburban homes, the Hungry Thirties seemed like ancient history. For Revie, however, they had left a mark that would never fade. Born in 1927 and brought up in a little terraced house in working-class Middlesbrough, he vividly remembered the privations of the Depression, when his father, a joiner, had spent years out of work.


Gorbachev by William Taubman

active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, card file, conceptual framework, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, haute couture, indoor plumbing, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Stanislav Petrov, trade liberalization, young professional

But “then I began to glance through them, to read, and got carried away. Mother lay down to sleep, but I kept reading [particularly a Russian language textbook]. Something must have happened in my head that night because in the morning I got up and went to school. By the end of the year, I had earned a certificate of merit, and from then on I got ‘distinction.’ ”73 What happened that night was a revealing turning point. For a moment, a sharp shadow of fear—of failure and humiliation—fell across Gorbachev’s growing self-confidence. But then his so often harsh mother again showed her love. After that, Gorbachev began to identify success in life with reading and thinking, and also with leading his peers. “From my earliest days,” he later would say, “I liked to be a leader among my peers—that was my nature.”74 But first he, his fellow pupils, and their teachers had to make the schools usable.


pages: 1,373 words: 300,577

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

The family was so poor that the boy had to take his first job, age nine, holding a lantern in a machine shop. While in high school, Rickover worked the night shift, from 3:00 to 11:00, at the Western Union telegraph agency. A picture from the 1916 Republican convention in Chicago shows him standing stiffly at attention in his Western Union uniform as he would later stand in his naval uniform. Through a lucky fluke, he won a nomination to the Naval Academy at Annapolis.5 Anxious, fearful of failure, and certainly no athlete—and subject to extra hazing because he was Jewish—Rickover spent every moment he could at the academy studying. He was, as he later put it, “trying to get by, stay alive.” At night when the library closed, he even crammed himself into an unused shower stall to get in extra time with his books. Rickover may not have been the most popular midshipman in his class, but he graduated with distinction.


pages: 1,009 words: 329,520

The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. by William D. Cohan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, bank run, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, fear of failure, fixed income, G4S, hiring and firing, interest rate swap, intermodal, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, Yogi Berra

He also pinpointed one of the firm's key problems: the failure of the partnership to function as one. He then bemoaned as a "major problem for us"--correctly as usual--the firm's complete lack of accountability. "Accountability for partners at Lazard is not a clear concept, or, at least, does not closely track our goals," he continued. "Accountability tends to be perceived as individual in nature and either a negative incentive (fear of failure) or an endorsement of raw personal ambition (to become a hero)." Lazard also had no formal training program for new hires or even anyone who gave much thought to what happened to new employees when they arrived. In this sense, and in many others, the firm was totally Darwinian, a fact Loomis lamented, metaphorically. "Interestingly, the 'freedom' of being left to sink or swim in a pool of 100 individuals increasingly raises the question at all levels, 'What are we doing and what am I part of?'"