“Failure is the greatest teacher” by Erik Çiftja

December 7, 2023

In recent years, the general attitude towards failure in most age groups, especially in young people, seems to be changing. Failure is no longer viewed in positive light as it was a while ago. In most underdeveloped countries, even in some developed states, this negative attitude is becoming the norm and is being purported in schools too. The idea is that failure is not only NOT a great teacher but is something that should be avoided, and it is better to not do something than to fail at it.

However, there are still some people who see some truth in the statement “failure is the greatest teacher”. They think that without failure, success seems like a distant idea. In this composition I am going to discuss both points of view and argue why, in my opinion, failure is in fact not only the greatest teacher, but it can be a very substantial and essential motivator.
Firstly, this recent emergence in a negative attitude towards failure can be traced back to a variety of different reasons, however I think that from my personal experience up to this point in my life, the two major ones are: the emotional and psychological burden as well as the inability to assess and draw the right conclusions from failure.

For most people, failure would carry with it a very big burden that many would find it difficult to recover from. Firstly, depending on where failure occurs or the circumstances related to how you failed, the psychological and emotional backlash can be enormous. If it involved one of your biggest strengths, it could make you seriously doubt in yourself and your abilities and even lower your self-esteem. However, if people manage to recover from the backlash, they are still faced with a choice: learn something from your failure or try analyzing it. Some would run away from the failure and try not to remember it again, depriving themselves of the opportunity for self-improvement. Others may try to correctly assess the reasons of their failure, but still do not correctly navigate through their failure, however their effort was not in vain, as in most cases, they still learn something new. There are very few who correctly assess their failure and draw conclusions, although this does not happen in every case, but it does happen.

Secondly, I would like to argue, in my opinion, why I think that failure is the greatest teacher. In a light contrast to what I mentioned before, the emotional and psychological burden can become too heavy, if you allow it. However, if you face your failure head-on, it can help strengthen your character and your will, as you now understand the pain of failure, and try not to allow it to happen again. As I mentioned before, it also, when analyzed correctly paves the way for self-improvement and development.

Thirdly, I think that failure is also a fantastic motivator. Instead of letting all the feeling that are extracted from it weigh you down, you must understand that they are a sort of cautionary note, warning you as to what happens because of failure, and motivating you not to allow yourself to experience them again and run away from trying as mentioned before, when coupled with correct analyzing of the failure propels a person to chase success in a constructive way.

All in all, while there are some that would disagree with the statement “Failure is the greatest teacher” for different reasons, I firmly think that it is true because if you analyze failure correctly and do not allow it to bring you down, but strengthen your character, not only does it become a great teacher, but also a fantastic motivator.


Composition by Erik Çiftja
Class of 9