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Science Proves That 'What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stonger'

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Scientists at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management have discovered a relationship between failure and future success. Their discovery has in fact proven German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement “what does not kill me makes me stronger.”

Researchers at the study have used analytics to look into the relationship between professional failure and successes for young scientists. What they found? Failure early in one's career can lead to greater success for the long term and the failure will lead them to try again.

“The attrition rate does increase for those who fail early in their careers,” lead author Yang Wang said. “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.”

The study titled, “Early-career setback and future career impact,” was published in Nature Communications.

“It turns out that, historically, while we have been relatively successful in pinpointing the benefits of success, we have failed to understand the impact of failure,” said Dashun Wang, corresponding author and associate professor of management and organizations at Kellogg. 

Photo: Getty