Failure is not a bad thing. Take into consideration that failure is a huge factor in guiding our actions. Our brains are constantly taking in information, processing it, and then making decisions based on that information. Failure, if perceived as a learning opportunity, will play a paramount role in guiding our actions. Think about this. Half of us learned not to touch a hot stove when mom (repeatedly and FRANTICALLY in my case) told us not to do it. The other half of us...well....it hurt a lot didn't it?
Just as we learn through failure, we also learn a great deal through the modeling of success. Trust me when I say that one of the greatest tools in the arsenal of educators is modeling. We could spend an eternity talking (and most do), but when we model achievement, it is easier for the brain to learn. You're already familiar with this. You tell a kid something a thousand times and just HOPE they remember, yet let them watch you do something (especially a bad habit) and they'll imitate things you hoped they never would! The same holds true for imitating the greatness of others (I always thought Teddy Roosevelt was really cool...yes I'm a nerd for saying that). For those of you trying to get your kids focused on imitating greatness, modeling is a great way to get the point across. Here is a short article on an NBA player that crafted his entire career on imitating the greatness of those that came before him. There truly is nothing new under the sun, you just need to go learn it. =)
Kobe Bryant: Studying (keyword STUDYING) Film and Imitating Greatness