A successful failure is one that is not fatal or catastrophic, from which comes a material or equivalent learning experience. Successful failures are errors or outcomes that can be built upon, as in when you shoot for the stars and land on the moon. Even if you are swinging for a home run, most people would not consider a base hit a failure but rather an interim outcome that can be built upon if we can successfully follow up on it.

The same thought process applies to many of the things we label as failure in life, if only we could look at them with a longer-term perspective.