05/19/2014 12:14 pm ET Updated May 20, 2014

What This Successful Journalist Can Teach Us About Failure

Could intentionally setting yourself up for failure actually lead to your greatest success in life?

Renowned journalist George Plimpton spent his career exploring this idea. He accumulated a lifetime of success, bucket-list experiences and valuable relationships by throwing caution to the wind and choosing to experience all that life had to offer -- regardless of the potential consequences.

Plimpton created The Paris Review, edited the publication for 50 years and pushed through hard times to keep his passion project afloat. He also served as one of the first writers to tackle participatory journalism. A collector of experiences, Plimpton personally boxed Archie Moore, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and played percussion for the New York Philharmonic as a way to fully explore his subjects.

Tom Bean and Luke Poling, the co-directors and producers of the new PBS special that honors his legacy, “American Masters: Plimpton!,” joined HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps to discuss Plimpton’s life journey and how his approach to failure ultimately led to his greatest successes.

“I think he wisely set himself up to fail in these endeavors. Part of what he was trying to do was really eliminate what it took to succeed at an elite level," said Bean. "By setting himself up to fail, he just showed how difficult it was to succeed."

To hear more about Plimpton and the PBS special, watch the full HuffPost Live segment here.