Why you should embrace failure, and 6 other principles of life

Shaaz Nasir


With over 30 columnists from 15 countries, we decided to ask these eccentric bunch of gen y and z folks, “What is your main principle in life?”

Below are only a few of the responses we received. These answers give you a  glimpse into the minds of Generation Y/Z. Not shockingly these principles cascade across all generations and gravitate around the themes of self discovery, exploration, and daring to be more than you ever thought possible.

  1. The Art of Failing

In the day and age of rapidly growing and successful start-ups, people want success and they want it now. Members of gen-y should understand the importance of failure.

Failure should be like second nature and thus should be embraced by the young professional. It should be recognized as a specific art form.  It is through failure that we reinvent ourselves and it is through failure that we create the thick skin that seemingly helped our parents achieve great success and survive for a good portion of the 21st century.  No success comes as an easy win and every win is appreciated that much more when we have understood the growth process in failure.

  1. Never Forget Your Roots

Whether you’ve decided to settle down for a few years and soak up every bit of your newfound dream career, or whether you’re still searching and experiencing life to its ultimate fullest by travelling and absorbing everything that comes your way, never forget your roots. Your roots make you who you are- your family, your values, your faith, your youthful experiences- whether good, or bad, they contribute directly to who you are presently. Despite fame, or failure, you are indebted to your roots. Remember them in times of accomplishment and in times of hardship, thank those who encompass your roots when they least expect it, and think of them when undergoing the change that you do every step of the way. You are in the process of becoming the best of the best, and when you do, be sure to give back to what made you who you are. Forgetting your roots is to forget, ultimately, the foundations of who you are.

  1. Always Be Curious

Nothing is 100% sure. Unleash your curiosity – always! Ask as many questions as you wish, otherwise you will remain ‘in the dark’. Be critical at the same time, don’t take things people tell you for granted, challenge supposed ‘truths’. Try something different, leave long accepted ways of doing things and follow your curiosity. Curiosity is the impetus for change.

  1. Go see the world

Intercultural mobility is the greatest opportunity for our generation; there are so many ways (exchange programs at school/university etc)  we are able to choose to get acquainted to new people, different cultures and fresh ideas – we just need to exploit the great potentials of global communication and interaction! So go see the world, learn with and from different cultures and connect to the people around the world, make friends – this is the only way to broaden your own horizon and fight prejudices!

  1. Stop procrastination

Procrastination is a nasty cycle. You delay things until they are unavoidable, and repeating this loop all over again. If you know exactly what I am talking about, you should stop procrastination because it prevents you from achieving better results. The good news is that there are ways to fight this unproductive behaviour. The two best advices I can give are:

  • Divide your final goal into small tasks. Write the steps down on a paper everyday, and by the end of the day, see what you have achieved and compare it to the projections you made in the morning.


  • Share your goals with others. Tell your friends or colleagues about your projects, and it will give you a motivation boost as you know they are bound to ask you about the status of these projects the next time you will see them or chat with them.
  1. Never Settle

…be an eternal traveler in mind, body and soul.

  1. Don’t be limited by your education.

Many Gen Y-ers struggle with the idea that they studied a subject in University that may not be applicable to their professional life or give them a definitive career path, however this shouldn’t be a deterrent from following your heart, as cliché as that may sound. The main take-away from post-secondary education is that you have taught yourself how to learn effectively. Chances are, there will be numerous theories and equations that you may have retained that will never resurface again in your work life – and that’s okay.

Employers want to be certain that you have the cognitive ability to critically analyze your environment, and to produce a quality service while doing so. These skills aren’t quantifiable, nor are they tangible, but are shaped after years in the workforce. You can’t be taught in a classroom how to be entrepreneurial, creative or detail-oriented, but your education can give you the foundation to become these things.

Go beyond societal norms of what it means to be educated as well. You can learn a new language, a program, develop a talent or a passion, create art or invent, without having a formalized piece of paper. You can do these things on your own, in your spare time, and these can propel you, in some instances, further than a Bachelor’s degree ever could.

Do you have any principles you like to share? Throw them into the comment section below as we continue to curate more principles by both our Gen Y/Z readers and writers.