5 Videos That Will Help You Redefine Failure

Growth Mindset

Almost anyone who has ever been successful at anything had to go through numerous failures to get there. Failure comes in all shapes and forms — unusable drafts, rejected prototypes, errors of judgment, speling mistagkes — but it’s always an opportunity to learn. Problem is, though failure is what success is built on, many of us have a complete phobia of making mistakes.

At Wonder, we believe redefining failure is crucial to growth. Whenever we need to be reminded that it’s okay to be wrong, we turn to the five videos below:

Khan Academy: You Can Learn Anything

It’s not our lack of abilities that hold us back. It’s our mindset. This inspiring video from Khan Academy shows us that achieving our goals starts with thinking we can.

Carol Dweck: The Power of Believing That You Can Improve

Rephrasing failure as “not yet” can radically affect our performance and attitude towards achievement, says Stanford psychology researcher Carol Dweck.

David Foster Wallace: Ambition

In this short interview, David Foster Wallace discusses perfection, and how his desire to always achieve this perfection negatively impacted his work.

Kathryn Schulz: On Being Wrong

On this TED Talk, which explores everything from the Chinese character for picnic bench to the mistakes of Wile E. Coyote, journalist Kathryn Schulz questions what it means to be wrong, and suggests that allowing ourselves to be wrong more often could change our lives (for the better).

J.K. Rowling: Harvard Commencement Speech

In her now famous address to the new students at Harvard, J.K Rowling gives a personal account of the many failures she encountered when she was an aspiring writer, and how these failures helped her strip away the inessential in order to focus on her work and who she wanted to be.

Believe You Can Grow: Three Strategies For Changing Your Mindset

Growth Mindset

Are you hard on yourself when you make mistakes? Do you tend to stick to your comfort zone rather than take risks? If so, you might be seeing life as a test that you either pass or fail. To start seeing it for what it could be — an experiment you can learn from and have fun with — we recommend trying one (or all) of the three things below:

(Writers’ Note: We think you’ll enjoy them even if you’re pretty good at failing).

1. Read a biography

There’s an old cure to beating yourself up for not being really good at something: it’s reading your hero’s —or anybody’s— biography.  Biographies tend to be perfect illustrations of Thomas Edison’s mantra (“genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration”) and Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-Hour Rule. By narrating the countless times successful people have struggled, failed, and (most importantly) persevered, they help us all put things in perspective.

2. Get good at positive self-talk

People who are scared to fail listen to the voice inside their heads that tells them they’re not gifted, clever, creative, young, or (insert desirable trait here) enough to do whatever it is that they would secretly love to do. That is the voice of their inner critic. Creativity expert Julia Cameron recommended that her students work with their inner critics instead of shushing them completely. She gave them the following exercise: whenever you hear your inner critic, take note of what it’s saying. Then, convert each nasty statement into something positive (“I, Jessica, am stupid and lazy”, for example, into “I, Jessica, am capable and determined.”)

3. Do something challenging

When it comes to taking on challenges, you were likely a lot braver as a baby than you are now. Think about it — you took on the inconceivably humongous challenge of learning how to walk, and you failed (in public) hundreds of times before you finally succeeded. To become as curious and eager to learn as you were when you were an infant, embrace a new activity, like learning a new language or an instrument. Allow yourself to make plenty of mistakes. Watching your slow, steady progress will motivate you to take on even greater challenges.

More about mindset

5 Animations That Will Make You Better at Life

Emotional Intelligence

As a concept, emotional intelligence can seem a little abstract.

Most of us get it in theory, but it’s hard knowing what it looks like in real life. Luckily, the internet has an enormous amount of resources that can help us understand EQ better. We went ahead and did the hard work for you, going through the good, the bad, and the ugly EQ-related videos on YouTube to bring you this delightful list of informative and inspiring animations. Each of them will teach you about one of the five key components of emotional intelligence, and hopefully inspire you to grow. We hope you enjoy them!


We’ve all tried to help a friend in need at some point in our lives. Problem is, most of us have been going about it in the wrong way. In this beautifully animated talk, Brené Brown explains the difference between offering sympathy and having empathy — and why the latter works best.


Sometimes saying “no” to ourselves in the present is difficult, but it essential for our future happiness. In this cute little animation from Epipheo, Kelly McGonigal explains the different types of willpower that we need to overcome our daily desires, and how a little self-regulation can allow us to focus on what’s really important in our lives.


In order to make changes in your life, you need to understand your own emotions, and the strengths and limitations that go with them. This beautiful animation, produced by students from the Gobelins Film School, depicts one woman’s attempt to take control of her own life…and her imaginary crocodile!


What motivates us to get up in the morning for work? According to Dan Pink in this wonderful short from RSA, it’s not the financial carrot on a stick that drives us forward, but something deep within ourselves.

Social skills

Social skills are a very visible part of emotional intelligence, and probably the most important to success.  Without social skills, we can’t build meaningful relationships with people, and we struggle to get ahead in our careers. Where our social skills come from, and how they develop is still up for debate, but according to this informative short from NPR, play could be the answer!

P.S. Loved these videos? Then subscribe to our YouTube channel for more!

5 Infallible Ways to Become Even More Likable

Connection, Social Skills

Loving and accepting yourself is paramount, but being someone others enjoy having around can also help make you happier and more successful.

A Harvard study suggests that, at work, being likable matters more than being smart or competent. Researchers found that most people prefer to work with someone they like than with someone they don’t like, even if the person they don’t like could do a better job.

Scientists also have solid evidence that strong social relationships — a direct result of being able to get along with people — has been proven to increase someone’s survival odds by 50%. That’s twice as much as exercise, and just as powerful as not smoking.

So, while it’s vitally important to have a positive self-esteem, the esteem of others’ goes a long way in your health, success and happiness too.

Now, how do you increase your people skills? Here are five strategies that have been proven to work:

Expect the best
Be a social optimist and expect that the new people you meet are going to love you. You will subconsciously be more open and warmer with those you are talking to, and of course, be much more approachable.

Pay Attention
Is someone talking to you? Then sit upright, put the phone away, and make eye contact. Giving people your undivided attention will make them feel important. And everybody likes to feel important.

Don’t Brag
Are you awesome? Have you just come back from a trip around the world? Good for you, but don’t tell everyone. Research shows that self-promotion tends to backfire, and that sharing stories of your incredible adventures may actually lead to people excluding you.

Ask For Advice
When you ask people for advice, it makes them feel like experts. Never miss an opportunity to ask others for tips, whether it’s for an upcoming trip, a great place to eat, or feedback here on Wonder. They’ll love it that you thought to ask them in the first place.

Be Curious
Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested you.” So ask questions, try to really get to know people. They’ll be surprised (and delighted!) you want to know more about them.

Anaïs Nin: The Artist

Wonder Types

French author Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) sought to discover and grow as a woman and artist and to live her life to the fullest.

A prolific writer of diaries, she began her first at age eleven. She published a total of sixteen journals spanning more than fifty years of her life. Her heightened self-awareness is a result of an intense desire to listen her inner voice and understand her story.

Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1939–1947

A woman not bound by the norms of her time, she pursued multiple, often simultaneous love affairs, including a torrid romance with the writer Henry Miller in the early 1930’s. Nin believed emotional excess made her more creative:

“Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”

With her heightened self-awareness and low self-regulation, she personifies the The Artist EQ Type.

On Wonder, we learn that:

Artists are sensitive souls who sometimes let their emotions get the best of them.

The Artist can teach The CoachThe High-Speed Racer, The Entertainer, and The Soldier to increase their self-awareness.

Nin’s number one formula was keeping a diary. “It was while writing a diary that I discovered how to capture the living moments,” she said. She also believed that new experiences and psychotherapy were valuable tools for learning about oneself.

The Artist can also inspire The BossThe DiplomatThe Soldier, and The Lone Wolf to let go of control, even if just a little.

Nin’s way was surrounding herself with young people, who reminded her of the importance of staying curious and taking risks. She also sought challenges and was never regretful or fearful of failure.

One of Nin’s most famous quotes is, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

4 ways increasing your EQ can help your career

Emotional Intelligence

With so many technical skills you can learn to improve your performance at work, emotional intelligence might be at the bottom of your to-do list. But more and more studies show that investing in your EQ can actually help you advance in your career faster than, say, mastering Excel or learning to code. Here are five reasons why you should make increasing your emotional intelligence a top priority:

  1. It will make you more friends at work

Becoming more emotionally intelligent means increasing your empathy and social awareness —two skills that help you win more friends at the office. Think you don’t need friends at work? Think again. Research done by the OfficeVibe found that 70% of employees say friends at work is crucial to a happy working life. Employees that have a best friend at work are 137% more motivated to develop as a person and as a professional, and have a 35% higher commitment to quality.

  1. It will help you perform better in any job

Emotional intelligence plays a big role in your productivity —it’s what helps you meet that sales target in spite of your recent breakup, and quickly turn out an impeccable press release in the middle of a crisis. According to EQ experts Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, EQ is responsible for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs. “It’s the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.”

  1. It will make you money

Emotional intelligence has been proven to help you bring home a bigger paycheck. According to Bradberry and Greaves, people with a high EQ make approximately $ 29,000 more per year. “The link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds $ 1,300 to an annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world,” they wrote. Their thesis is supported by a recent study from the University of Bonn, which found that people who are good at recognizing emotions have an income that is “significantly higher”.

  1. It may land you the job

“CEOs are hired for their intellect and business expertise—and fired for a lack of emotional intelligence,” an executive told Daniel Goleman. Companies like Johnson & Johnson and L’Oreal have realized that hiring people with a high EQ saves them time and money in the long run, and so have incorporated emotional intelligence as a criteria in their recruiting processes. Even if the company you want to work for doesn’t assess emotional intelligence, having worked on your EQ skills will still pay off when you go on your job interview —self-awareness, self-regulation and social awareness will help you keep your cool and connect with your recruiters more easily.

The Truth About Negative Feedback: It’s Not Just About You

Feedback, Growth Mindset

Most of us mistakenly believe that the labels and judgments we get from other people concern only ourselves. Actually, they reveal a lot about the people who made them.

Criticism is people’s way of hinting at their unresolved feelings and unmet needs. A person who calls you insensitive may be (awkwardly) asking for your affection.

“Well, if that’s what they want,” you may ask, “why don’t they just say so?”

Short answer: because it’s hard. Most of us aren’t in touch with how we feel, and those of us who are don’t always know how to articulate it.

Get better at expressing your feelings

On top of that, saying how we truly feel makes us vulnerable, something we’ve learned to think of as negative. So, instead of admitting we’re sad, scared, frustrated, angry, jealous or disappointed, we talk about how bad other people, and all the things they are doing, are.

Learn to give negative feedback

With needs, it’s the same story. We weren’t trained to think in terms of needs; instead, we learned to think about what is wrong with other people whenever our needs are not being met. So, if we need peace and quiet to concentrate on our work at the office, for example, we’ll think of anyone who laughs and talks loudly around our desks as rude and obnoxious.

Looking at criticism as a reflection of people’s needs and emotions helps us deal with it more productively. It also makes us more empathetic.

So let’s imagine that a good friend tells you, “You’re the most selfish person I know.”

You may react by:

1)   Blaming yourself
“Wow, I must be a really bad friend!”

2)   Blaming your friend
“You can’t say that! I’m always doing you favors! YOU’RE the one who’s selfish!”

3)   Expressing your own feelings and needs
“I’m really hurt to hear you say that, because I need some acknowledgment for all the times I’ve considered what you wanted, too.”

Blaming yourself makes you feel guilty, ashamed, and depressed —all of which are bad for your self-esteem. Blaming the other person doesn’t help and can end up ruining the relationship. Finally, simply expressing your feelings while ignoring the other person’s won’t improve the situation.

The counter-intuitive, but more proactive way to respond is:

4)   Helping the other person express how they feel and what their needs are
“Are you upset because you’d like me to ask you about your preferences more?”

If you want to help the other person and learn something useful in the process, go with #4.

How to give good “bad” feedback

Feedback, Social Skills

We all need honesty in our lives. Together with love, acceptance, empathy, and encouragement, honesty helps fulfill our basic human need of interdependence. Yet we rarely get the kind of honesty that empowers us and helps us learn from our limitations. Instead, we get criticism.

Criticism doesn’t tend to be helpful, and it rarely works. When our mothers tell us we dress like slobs, we may get annoyed, angry, or defensive, but we’re rarely inspired to change our wardrobe.

Perhaps one of the reasons is that criticism focuses so much on the receiver. The critic rarely tries to demonstrate how his feelings and needs are connected to what he’s criticizing, so it’s hard for the person receiving the feedback to have empathy to really listen.

So how do we give negative feedback positively? How do we give the people we care about the type of honesty they need to grow?

Marshall Rosenberg’s “nonviolent communication” teaches us to include an observation, a feeling, a need, and a request in our negative feedback, as explained below:

Observation: be specific about what you see

Giving (good) bad feedback requires paying attention. You have to be able to specifically describe what the other person is doing that is bothering you, and, if possible, to say when, where, and how. Most importantly, you have to be able to do this without judging or evaluating. Saying “You cancelled our last three dates ” is an observation, saying “You’re a flake” is an evaluation.

Feeling: show vulnerability

Identify what feelings you have about the situation. When you see the other person do the specific thing that bothers you, do you get nervous? Annoyed? Sad? Scared? Furious? Most of us have trouble figuring out how we feel. We also tend to confuse thoughts with feelings —we say things like, “I ‘feel’ like a failure” or “I ‘feel’ like this person is manipulating me” without realizing we’re not really saying how we feel. Another common mistake is to confuse our feelings with how we think others behave towards us. “Feeling” rejected, misunderstood, ignored or threatened reflects how we think others treat us, not how we feel.

Spot your exact feeling on our emotional cheat sheet

Need: recognize what you are lacking

After you identify how you truly feel, ask yourself what unfulfilled need might be at the root of that feeling. Judgments, evaluations and interpretations of others are actually expressions of personal needs not being met. For example, calling your partner “lazy” may simply mean that you need more help around the house.

Request: ask for something concrete

Once you’ve figured out what you need, it’s time to ask the person you’re giving feedback to for something specific, a concrete action. Use positive language (say what the person should do rather than what he or she should not do) and be as clear and precise as possible.

With the incorporation of observation, feeling, need and request, good “bad” feedback sounds like this:

When you cancel our plans at the last minute like you did tonight —and last Tuesday—, I’m disappointed, because I really look forward to us spending more time together. Would you be willing to set a day for us to meet every week?

When giving negative feedback, remember: your goal should not be to change the other person or their behavior to get what you want, but to develop relationships based on honesty and empathy, where everyone’s needs are met.