Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better
Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown

Distilled from Pema Chödrön’s commencement speech at Naropa University on the day of her granddaughter’s graduation, this offering from the beloved teacher and author offers us a gem of clarity and compassion to help us get back on our feet and into our hearts.
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Awards and Acknowledgements:

  • Spirituality & Health Top 10 of 2015 selection

When her granddaughter was accepted to Naropa University, the celebrated author Pema Chödrön promised that she’d speak at the commencement ceremony.

Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better contains the wisdom shared on that day.

“What do we do when life doesn’t go the way we hoped?” begins Pema. “We say ‘I’m a failure.’” 

But what if failing wasn’t just “okay” . . . but the most direct way to becoming a more complete, loving, and fulfilled human being?

Here, Pema Chödrön offers us her heartfelt advice on facing the unknown—in ourselves and in the world—and how our missteps can open our eyes to see new possibilities and purpose.

For readers of all faiths who are at a life crossroads, this brilliant gem of kindness and clarity is sure to earn its place in our kitchens, offices, and backpacks, ready to help us get back on our feet and into our hearts.

Includes an in-depth interview with Pema Chödrön and Tami Simon.




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4 Reviews
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4.3 / 5 Stars

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4 Review(s)

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Definitely worth it Review by Rebekah


I was surprised when I opened this to find that half of this short, compact book consisted of a page of illustration followed by maybe a few paragraphs on the other side. At first it does seem to be a tall order to call this a book, however once I started in to this little treasure of a tome it became apparent that the sparse formatting was purposeful. The white, empty spaces and short bursts of thought echo the same inner process I've come to develop with most of Pema's teachings - read/listen for a bit, then ponder and allow the impact to settle in. The formatting seems to be set up to really concentrate the message, which I found very helpful and interesting. Simple and direct.

The Q&A is quite excellent as well. It covers a range of topics and reiterates the basic principles of mindfulness in the context of real life application. That only was worth the money to me.

I would definitely recommend! (Posted on November 17, 2015)

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worth noting Review by Vicky


I am sorry people found the book short and the format poor and hence relatively expensive. I hope they take note of this as I find Pema Chodron so helpful. (Posted on October 29, 2015)

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Meaningful Review by Susan


One thing you can always depend on with any teaching by Pema is honest, thought provoking insight. I especially found the comments on regret helpful. Who doesn’t have regrets? As well, the concept of failing is turned toward a leaning in for real learning, instead of falling into the usual shame-based self-destructive pattern. Thank you for this meaning teaching. (Posted on October 10, 2015)

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Wise, too short, terrible formatting Review by Mettamama


As usual Pema's wisdom shines through in her speech and especially in the Q & A afterward with Tami. But it was frustrating to read due to the formatting.

I could not read it at all on my ereader because the words overlapped and nothing I did would correct this. On my iPad it was so small I didn't figure out till the last few pages I could make the print bigger with my fingers, like you do with websites, not the usual way for a book. There are 2pages per page and it took three attempts to turn the page each time.

I also found it pretty expensive for such a short piece, I don't think you could call it a book. I wish the Q&a went on longer.

Speech ***
Q&A **** (would be five if longer)
Formatting * (Posted on September 8, 2015)

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Hardcover Book

Contents 1 Hardcover book (133 pages)
Date Published September 01, 2015
ISBN-10 1-62203-531-3
ISBN-13 978-1-62203-531-1
Dimensions 5 x 7 1/8 inches
Product Code BK04539


Contents 1 eBook (133 pages)
Filetypes EPUB, PDF, PRC, JPG
Date Published September 01, 2015
ISBN-10 1-62203-557-7
ISBN-13 978-1-62203-557-1
Product Code BK04539W