Highly Successful Professor Publishes a Résumé of His Failures

Johannes Haushofer is a full-time professor at Princeton University. So by academic standards, he's tremendously successful. 

But he wants his students to understand that the journey to success is filled with failure after failure. He wants them to encounter defeat, overcome it, and keep moving forward. So he made a curriculum vitae (a type of résumé that academics use) listing all of the failures in his career that he can think of.

Haushofer explained his perspective to the Washington Post:

“Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible,” Haushofer writes. “I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me. As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days.”

Do you have a long list of failures? Good. That means that you're trying:

Haushofer adds that if his CV of failures seems short, it’s probably because he’s forgetting some things. And a longer CV of failures could very well be a good thing – it might mean the person is good at trying new things.

-via Nag on the Lake


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