Lessons on Failure from Wile E. Coyote


Failure:  It’s what we’re all afraid of in life.  Ok, not everyone, but you know what I mean.  Why?  Shouldn’t we expect failure on the way to success?  After all, there aren’t many people who make it big without a few, if not many, failures throughout their journey.

Remember the old Looney Tunes features with Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner?  Wile E. was an educated guy who tried in every way imaginable to catch the infamous Roadrunner.  This quest was of course, made possible by Acme, the coyote’s most trusted supplier of spy gear and roadrunner traps.  He must have tried thousands of ways to catch the Roadrunner, coming thiiiiiiiiis close, yet failing every time.  Did that keep him from ordering a new flight suit or rocket-propelled roller skates for his next ingenious plan?


I think we can all learn a few things from Wile E. Coyote.  Here are a few:

Learn from it

Let’s be realistic with ourselves.  We’re going to fail.  We shouldn’t let that get the best of us.  Instead, try to learn from your failure.  You know what worked and what didn’t.  Use that knowledge to build a better plan to generate a more positive outcome.  Have you ever really just flunked an interview?  Ask for feedback and put it to good use.  The next one will be better!

Go for it

Most people are afraid to fail like I mentioned before.  That very fear keeps us from simply going for it.  Assume that you’re going to succeed.  Set the right expectations and go for it.  You’ll never know how it turns out if you don’t go for it.  Take a chance, a leap of faith.  You can only learn from this.

Keep moving on

Keep moving on.  I say this twice for a reason.  Don’t let failure get you down.  If you focus too much on what you did wrong, you’re going to miss what you did correctly.  Keep moving forward with the knowledge you’ve gained along the way through failure.  It’s a learning experience for everyone!

As Jason Seiden says in his blog, “fail spectacularly.”

Learn from it.  Go for it.  Keep moving on.       

Here’s a short video that helps make my point:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short (yet powerful, I hope) post.  If you have, please pay it forward by sharing with a friend or coworker.  I don’t make any money by writing this blog and all the resources are free.  Help me spread the love by sharing with someone!  If you like the blog, please subscribe.  You can also find me on Facebook.  As always, thanks for reading! ending

Photo credit: BitMob


10 thoughts on “Lessons on Failure from Wile E. Coyote

  1. I loved this post. It reminds me of the “Fail Harder” wall at the ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy. Teaching people that failing is okay, and expected, if you’re actually trying anything; is such a beautiful lesson. Thanks!


  2. There was an excellent radio show on “To the Best of our Knowledge” on Public Radio International Called “How to Fail.” If you have the PRI app, it’s easy to find.

    “Failure is a four letter work in America. Most of us do everything we can to avoid it. But what if we’ve got the wrong idea about failure? It’s all a matter of learning the right way to do it. This hour, one psychologist’s take on how to embrace the fall. And comedian Marc Maron on the hit podcast that saved his career and his life. And, columnist Thomas Friedman on why the US is falling behind and how we can come back.


    Carol Dweck is researcher at Stanford University. She says everybody fails, but not everybody fails the right way.


    Alison is a historical biographer and novelist. She examines the life of Mary Boleyn as the sister who lost the king to her sister Anne.


    Thomas Friedman says the US is falling behind on the global stage.


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