Jackie Gingrich Cushman

While children learn by imitation (note curse word example above), adults often focus on small, technical aspects rather than final outcomes and can become bogged down in detail, according to Dr. Gabriele Wulf, professor of kinesiology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In addition, our thoughts about our own abilities can have great impact. ''As we get older, we lose our confidence," says Wulf, "and I'm convinced that has a big impact on performance."

So, this summer, while school is out, think about becoming a bit more fit, applauding others' successes and focusing on the desired outcome rather than the technical details. When failures happen, which they inevitably will if you are learning, view them as part of the process of learning and living, rather than as a definition of who you are as a person.

Embrace failure as part of the path to learning and living.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.