How can failure be a goal?

How can failure be a goal? 

I work out with my 19-year-old son Henry. He has also been my personal trainer since he became a teenager. 


I remember the first time when I asked him at the gym, “How many reps?” and his response was, “Until failure,” I thought he was joking. 

How can failure be a goal? 


It was only then that I learned that muscles need to be brought to a certain point of exhaustion or failure in order for growth. This was all new to me.

“What a success” is still the highest compliment for most people and companies.
And the word failure is still associated with bad, not good enough, not achieving, so I was curious to ask Henry what he thinks of this word. 

He told me, “When I hear failure, it motivates me. It makes me want to push more.”

Most of the people and companies I coach have calendars and posters quoting failure and how making mistakes are a great way to learn. But how often do they really act upon it and encourage failure as a way to grow?

What if we reclaimed the word failure?
What if instead of always going for success and not giving a damn how we got there, we go for failure and care about growth and process?

Success without failure is like taking steroids to build muscle mass – you will look bigger and stronger, but it won’t last.