As we usher in the New Year, my resolution for the upcoming 12 months has taken an unconventional turn. Instead of aspirations of focusing on success and achievements, I am embarking on a journey of striving for failure. 

Yes, you read that correctly – my New Year's resolution is to fail as much as I possibly can.

The idea of intentionally seeking out failure may seem counterintuitive or unusual. My wish to fail is not born out of a desire for mediocrity or complacency; rather, it is a commitment to resilience and continuous improvement.

This unusual resolve challenges the traditional narrative of New Year's resolutions. It is based on the belief that success often arises from disappointments, and it challenges the notion that failure is something to be feared or avoided and instead sees it as a natural part of the journey toward success. 

My New Year's resolution to fail is an acknowledgment of the inherent beauty of overcoming adversities. It is a pledge to navigate the uncertainties of the future with a spirit of curiosity, learning, and innovation. 

As I make this resolution, I am reminded of the insightful New Year's Eve message from my pastor. His words emphasized the fundamental role of experiencing and learning from failures. It was a poignant reminder that true innovation is not born from a fear of failure, but from a willingness to confront it head-on.

Elon Musk once said, "If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough." These words echo in my mind as a reminder that the path to true innovation and success is paved with failures. Each misstep is an opportunity to learn and grow. The inherent lessons in failure are the building blocks of progress and success. 

Success, in its truest form, is not the absence of failure but the ability to navigate and learn from it. The ability to glean insights from failures and apply them to future endeavors is a hallmark of individuals who truly understand and embody the essence of success. By choosing to see failures as valuable experiences, individuals can cultivate a mindset that fuels the pursuit of innovative solutions to life's challenges. 

Take, for example, the creation of Post-it Notes™, which were invented through a fortunate failure in the pursuit of creating a stronger adhesive. Spencer Silver, a chemist at 3M, was attempting to develop an adhesive that was powerful enough to bond surfaces together, but also allowed for easy removal without leaving a residue. Unfortunately, he ended up with a weaker adhesive than intended. 

Instead of discarding the "failed" adhesive, Silver recognized its unique properties. The weak adhesive allowed the paper to be attached to surfaces and removed without causing damage. Silver's colleague, Art Fry, saw the potential application of this adhesive when he wanted a bookmark for his choir hymnal that would stick but not damage the pages. 

In 1977, 3M introduced Post-it Notes™ to the market, and they quickly became a widespread and valuable office supply. The accidental invention turned out to be a stroke of serendipity, demonstrating how a failure in one context could lead to a successful and widely used product in another.

In James 1:2-4 (NIV), the Bible reminds us to "consider it pure joy" both in moments of success and failure, in times of goodness and challenges. This profound guidance encourages us to find joy in the diverse experiences that shape our journey, acknowledging that both success and failure play integral roles in our personal and spiritual growth.

Cheers to a New Year filled with numerous failures and the insights and valuable lessons they bring!

To contact KCarl or request a speaking engagement, go to The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected]

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