I failed because I went to South America with an idea of how I would change the world, and it didn’t go as planned. I failed because I went to South America to measure impact for Sistema B, and I didn’t. I failed because I thought I was an expert at navigating cultural barriers, and I broke down almost every day from frustration and uncertainty. I failed because I thought that by now I would know exactly what I want to do when I grow up, and I don’t.
Because I failed in all of these ways, I succeeded in others.
I succeeded because I improved my ability to speak Spanish. I spent time and understood local people. I tried steak in Argentina (and I hardly ever eat meat). I became a deeper and more international professional through my experiences with the Chilean and Argentine culture. I helped to create a new organizational structure and strategic plan for Sistema B. I developed new, deep relationships. I became a leader. I developed passion for recycling and composting and reduction of waste.
Failure teaches adaptation. It forces you to learn how to make the best of any situation. The growth that results from failure is far greater than when things go as planned.