(STUDY FINDS) – Ever since German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed, "What does not kill me makes me stronger" in 1888, the adage has become synonymous with persistence or rising above a tough experience. There's no disputing that the saying is useful from a motivational perspective, but now a new study analyzing failure and success finds that there's actual scientific evidence to back up the claim as well.
Scientists at Northwestern University have established a causal relationship between failure and subsequent success in the future. Despite expecting to discover the opposite, they found that failure early in an individual's career is actually associated with great success in the future among those who dust themselves off and try again after an initial setback. According to the study, the key to future success is not allowing early failures in life to discourage one from pursuing their goals.
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"The attrition rate does increase for those who fail early in their careers," comments lead author Yang Wang in a release. "But those who stick it out, on average, perform much better in the long term, suggesting that if it doesn't kill you, it really does make you stronger."