A couple of years ago I linked to a commencement speech by J.K. Rowling given at Harvard University on the importance of failure and imagination. I recently dug up an article that also references this speech and has some words of wisdom of its own. Even though it talks about failure from the view of a designer in the video game industry, it's applicable to all of life's goals. The article is here.
With this post I would like to include something Michelangelo once said, 'the greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark'. I think we are more capable than we realize in what we can achieve. Often when faced with the fear of failure there is a tendency to play it safe because of the pain that might be associated with it, but instead we shouldn't see failure as something to fear, but rather something that is essential and as a friend that shows the way to success.