Every Monday, tune in to Fast Company Leadership for a quote to get your week started right.
Your company cuts your job. Your shiny new project blows up–literally. We know that success requires a few tough rounds of failure, and that the most successful people are often the ones that missed the mark most often.
Still, losing definitely sucks. Facing it is unpleasant and necessary, but ultimately, freeing.
This week’s quote comes from our collection of “The Best Advice From The Most Viewed Commencement Speeches.” Conan O’Brien says in his Harvard University commencement address in 2011:
“There are few things more liberating in life than having your worst fear realized.”
After losing his job as host of the Tonight Show, O’Brien says he was adrift–and started trying new things he never imagined for his career. Fun, challenge, and a renewed conviction in his work followed.
“But the point is this,” O’Brien goes on to say: “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.”