“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I want to fail well. When I get knocked down I want to get right back up and try again harder. I want to seek out moments in life where the outcome is uncertain, the stakes are high, and my actions determine if the enterprise meets success or failure. Taking risks, of course, means dealing with failure. I've been rejected by some of the finest educational institutions and most prestigious companies in the world. I've lost public competitions like student elections in front of my friends and peers and been beaten on the football field in front of tens of thousands of people. Lord knows I've screwed up plenty and I'll do so again many times, but failing well means not giving up in the face of adversity. I want to live my life by the old skiers' adage: if you don't fall down, then you're not trying hard enough. If I can fail well, then I will be a success.

— John Brown