The Well-Timed Gift of Failure
“Failure is a bruise not a tattoo.” - Media Mogul Jon Sinclair
There I was, an hour before the Thanksgiving Tribe was to arrive and like all ill-timed ideas I began some complicated, new recipe for fancy potatoes. Seriously, couldn’t I just have stuck to the good old tried and true mashed? Other than my hockey playing nephews being able to use them on the ice...... well, you can surmise how they turned out. An article in Smithsonian Magazine detailed the importance, yes, importance of failure. Without it, there would never be innovation, sharing of ideas or growth. The article, “The Strange Beauty of the Epic Fail”, introduces us to the Museum of Failure, which debuted in Sweden and has an exhibit coming to Los Angeles this month. (There is also a Museum of Failed Products which makes its home in Ann Arbor, MI). Curator, PhD Samuel West, details why the 140,000 item archive of ill-timed inventions, hair-brain ideas, and ingenious attempts at product creation gives individuals and corporations counsel for betterment and success.
For example, remember Richard Simmons’ Salad Spray invention in the late ‘80’s? Albeit a brilliant idea, it was conceptualized in a society where we weren’t yet participating in the health craze that now exists, nor was the pace of society back then demanding the quicker and finer salad dressing application that we appreciate in 2017.
We ALL need failure. Sure, our egos are hurt for a minute, but the sting subsides and we always become better, ALWAYS. If I listed all my failures, and reflected on each dodged bullet, moment of growth, or rocky stepping stone the list would be lengthy - but I can say without a doubt that I’m so thankful that I have failed in my life to get me to where I am today.
Dig a bit deep, brush off your ego and delight in a past failure. In the true spirit of transparency, vulnerability and eventual transformation, aren’t you glad it happened?
“I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
If you would like to learn more about the Museum of Failure in Sweden, here is a link to a fun video: https://vimeo.com/220999602