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Teaching Children To Push Forward Through Failure with Dr. Shannon Smith

Zac May 01
Are you afraid to fail? I mean, failure is bad, right? Not according to this week’s guest, Dr. Shannon Smith.

Shannon is a pediatrician, blogger, mother, and speaker living in Huntington, West Virginia – the heart of America’s opioid epidemic – and she’s changing the narrative of children’s lives by teaching children to embrace “The Algorithm of Failure.”

What does this mean? It means getting rid of the shame and embarrassment that tends to hold us back.

It means learning through immersion and pushing forward through failure.

Learning doesn’t happen overnight she explains – it’s exponentially compounded over time.

Shannon is igniting the curious fire in our youth and paving the way for more strong-willed innovators. We need more Shannon’s in this world.

Sit back, relax, and become inspired.


“It’s learning that scientific process of how to fail faster; how to assess, hypothesize, and just turn around and do it again…and get rid of the shame and embarrassment that tends to hold most of us back.”

“I used to think human’s brains were programmed similar to a computer, where you type in code and hit enter, or like a light switch turns on and off. It’s just not true. We only program through small changes going up an exponential curve.”


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Show Notes


2:12 Working in the epicenter of America’s opioid epidemic

7:23 Failing fast and failing often and pushing forward

11:15 Shannon’s family is cultivating imagination and immersion learning

15:13 How focussing on mental health could be the future of pediatrics

19:32 The Algorithm to Failure – learning is incremental, not overnight

23: 56 Shannon has never met a kid without potential


“The Obstacle Is the Way” by Ryan Holiday

– Exploring the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience

“Abundance” by Peter Diamandis

– Fighting for the future through practical solutions and addressing the world’s most pressing concerns

“How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” by Scott Adams

– The creator of “Dilbert” explains how to invite failure in, embrace it, then pick its pocket

For more information on Dr. Shannon Smith’s movement, visit OwnYourFocus.com

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