What a wonderful idea – failing better!
I really enjoyed this exhibition at Dublin’s Science Gallery (Fail Better), 27 April 2015. It explored the role of “beautiful, heroic and instructive” failure. But what does that actually mean? For me it means we should challenge ourselves beyond the point of “I tried” and then too quickly throwing in the towel. Why not truly believe that there is valuable learning and lessons in all of our endeavours?
Among the exhibits was James Dyson who developed 5000 -plus prototypes (yes, 5000!) before he perfected the Dyson motor. I’m sure many, many people told Dyson to give up, move on, get real! But James Dyson had the courage of his conviction and persevered. We like this story, don’t we? The one about the underdog? But what if Dyson’s motor never worked, would we be still congratulating him on his tenacity and self-belief? Probably not, but that’s why we need an exhibition like this to stimulate debate and really value and celebrate ‘failure’ as a fundamental part of learning.
My new mantra is that all our efforts are leading us somewhere…an evolution of our skills, attitude, understanding.
Ranulph Fiennes, also in the exhibition (3 attempts to climb Mount Everest!), put it best when he said his greatest lesson was “not to try to keep up with people”.
So try, try some more, try some more again….and follow your own path at your own pace!