Monday, June 08, 2009

A Colossal Failure

Isn't a long weekend a delicious thing?

I've been able to spend mine catching up on all the bits and pieces online that I haven't had time to look at/read/watch over the past few weeks, because I've been so busy.  Mostly because my DVD player decided to die on Saturday, which meant that I couldn't spend hours watching Firefly on DVD like I planned to, so it gave me this opportunity.

I favourite a lot of things in my browser and in Twitter to look at later.  Mostly it's videos and articles.  Sometimes when I'm really busy, I find myself with pages and pages of articles and stuff to work back through.  I always go back to the very oldest stuff and work my way through methodically, so that nothing gets missed.

Today, I got to this little gem that I'll post for you below.  It's a video from Maker Faire in San Francisco a week or two ago, of a talk Adam Savage gave about failure.

You all know by now what a huge Mythbusters fan I am, and yes, Adam is very cool and has probably the most awesome job in the world (who else but the Mythbusters get to make stuff and then destroy it in spectacular ways?)

But there is another reason I really dig Adam.  I think as well as being lots of fun, super-creative and a joy to watch with all his enthusiasm, I think he has a really cool outlook on life, which does manifest in some incredible wisdoms sometimes.  So before I go on, here's the video.  It is an hour long, but well worth watching:

While this talk is still a rough one and I'm sure Adam will refine it over the coming months (as he did with his previous amazing talk on obsession), even at this point I find it inspirational and thought provoking.

I am learning that it is ok to fail.  It's not ok to do something half-arsed or without thought, but if I give it my best shot, and learn from any mistakes I make, then it's fine.  Because as Adam says, it's the failures in life that gear you up and lead you to the successes.  It is the failures than help you refine your work to be consistently better and better each time.  And as he says, there is no shame in owning those failures either.  Sure it feels bad, sometimes downright painful, and takes some getting over, but I believe so long as you own it, and learn from it, you will be better off in the long run.

So what's the most colossal failure you have ever made?  Did you learn from it and move on, or are you still cringing?


Anonymous said...

I can't really say I've had huge failures. Sure I've had some, and some that I still regret this day. But mostly I've been blessed with wonderful family and friends that have made it all just a little better you know?

zombietron said...

I think I've only had minor failures, of which I learned from and changed for the better. I really hate feeling competitive or being forced into situations where I am competing, so I try to back out of them as much as possible - which I guess is a failure in itself.
Oh, if you're using Firefox, a great add-on to help manage all those bookmarks that you want to look at later is Read It Later:
I use it all the time, cause I'm exactly the same, bookmarking things to check out later.

Mari said...

Do or do not. There is no try!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This was an awesome video and very true. Some great things to remember...

Sleepydumpling said...

He has his own goofy brand of wisdom our Adam.

Flibbertigibbet said...

Almost 17 years ago I failed my driving test.
Which many people have done.
However I rather excelled myself.
There is a structure known as
Newport Arch, this was built by the Romans and thus has clearly been there for some time.
Until I came close to demolishing part of it on my driving test.
I mounted the curb, bounced the examiner almost entirely out of his seat and narrowly missed said arch.
On my failure report he stated 'ineffective use of steering'.
I think 'a danger to society' may have been more apt.

Sleepydumpling said...

Another reason I have never learned to drive m'dear!