Failure is Good

Robert Agnello outside painting on white paper

I’m not sure if there is anyone who likes the idea of failure as much as I do. I really look forward to it sometimes. I know what you’re saying, “Robert, are you nutz?”

No, well maybe, but that’s not the point right now. I feel that if I didn’t fail at anything then I wasn’t really trying. In order to fail at something you need to be doing something new or just trying something. When you try something new that means you’re taking a chance and exploring new territory that will one day make up who you are. 

We are all a product of our past experiences. Some are success and some are failures. When trying something new there is great potential in not succeeding. Failure only is truly bad when you learn nothing from it and keep repeating it or, if you just give up.

It’s sometimes hard to learn from books or from people telling you how to do things but when you try something and make a mistake, oh boy, do you learn from that. Mistakes and failures allow you to grow in knowledge and experience. Thomas Edison failed so many time until he invented the light bulb. One of his famous quotes was ,“I have not failed I have just found 1000 ways that don’t work.” 

Wilber and Orville Wright learned how to fly by studying the failures of other would be pilots. Otto Lilienthal died in a glider accident in 1896. He had been using his body weight to steer the glider which the Wright brothers realized was not the best way to fly. They used Otto’s failure and turned it into their own success.

The CEO of a major company once said that his company spends millions in failed projects and he’s happy about that. He said that if he didn’t see that money being spent he would know they weren’t trying to invent new products. The most successful people have had the most failures.

Last month I sent a newsletter out on Sustainability. Did you catch all the misspellings? I didn’t until after I sent it out. Yeah, yeah, I know, I have spellchecker. I was rushing around so much that I forgot to use it. So I made some mistakes. Now what did I learn? Proofread all my newsletters. I learned a valuable lesson, yeah, even at my age. 

In the movie, Band of Innocence, Lily failed as the leader of BOI. “Sometimes through failure great success is won.” Those were Grandma Natu’s words to Lily. Lily was giving up and trying to give back the Amulet but Grandma Natu made her see that because she lost a battle does not mean that the war is over.

Remember that many of life’s failures are men and woman who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. What does that mean? Do you keep trying? Did you give up? Could success have been really that close? Maybe you try doing something a different way.  All I know is that if I give up I’ll never find success and success is in all of us, if we don’t give up.

Go and succeed and be happy when you fail, because you can’t fail without trying and you can’t succeed without failure. Whew.

Did You Hear?

Louis Manna, who is the illustrator for the Band of Innocence comics, is a big fan of failure. Well, not a big fan but a close friend. He has drawn for so many comic book publishers like DC Comics. DC Comics are the people behind Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and so many more super characters. When he first started as an artist he used to draw Spiderman on grocery bags in a little store where he worked. When a person came in for groceries they left with a sketch on their grocery bag.

Louis decided that he wanted to be an illustrator so he went to DC Comics to get a job. For two years he went and they would tell him that his drawings were good but he needed to work on the hands or the faces or the backgrounds. Louis was getting discouraged but he kept going back and trying to perfect his drawings.

One day he went there with some new sketches and they took his drawing. He waited and then just went home thinking that they had rejected more of his work. When he got home the phone rang and it was DC Comics. They wanted to know why he left because they wanted to hire him to draw a werewolf series. Yup, Louis kept trying and succeeded. Yeah, scratch one up for failure.


“Sir, What is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank president. 

“Two words” 

“And, sir, what are they?” 

“Right decisions.” 

“And how do you make right decisions?” 

“One word.” 

“And, sir, What is that?” 


“And how do you get experience?” 

“Two words” 

“And, sir, what are they?” 

“Wrong decisions”

Stuff Your Face:

Organic Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Makes 4 servings


organic cooking spray
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 large organic egg whites
1 lb. organic chicken breast strips


  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on the baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Place almonds, wheat flour, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until almonds are finely chopped (1 minute).
  3. While still mixing, drizzle in oil and process until combined. Transfer to shallow dish.
  4. Whisk egg whites in separate shallow dish.
  5. Dip and coat chicken.
  6. Transfer each piece of chicken to the almond mixture and coat evenly. Place chicken on the prepared rack and coat with cooking spray. Turn and spray the other side.
  7. Bake until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center (20 to 25 minutes).   

***As with any of these recipes, please work with your parents or guardians and make sure they know what you’re doing. Oh, and share. 

Oh, and I’ve eaten everyone of these recipes. Yummy!

Ya Wanna Piece of Me?

So what have you done that you have failed at? Did you keep trying or just give up? Try to look around and see what you have failed at, like a video game or a puzzle you can’t finish, and see if there’s another way to look at it and figure out how to succeed. Remember when you fail it’s always a good thing. It’s a learning thing. If you fail a test you need to see why you failed and how you can possible do better. Lebron James isn’t a great basketball player because he gave up when he failed. Lady GaGa worked hard and failed before she became a huge performer. You really can do anything you want as long as you persevere.

How’d We Do?

Unbelievable. We got so many responses on you and your Pets. Thanks to all.

1 Comment

  1. Jason Gladfelter on October 7, 2019 at 8:13 am

    spot on and thanks for the recipe!