The verge of success

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas A. Edison

In a society that seems to yearn for instant gratification, there is something wholesome in the opinion of Edison in relation to work. When media constantly bombards us with people that have achieved, it does us a great dis-service by overlooking how they got there. Edison was convinced that he learned more by getting things wrong, than by getting things right. I think we need to celebrate failure far more than we do. How do you regard failure? How do those around you regard it? Are you encouraged to fail? Eric Schmidt encourages his staff to ‘fail quickly, so that you can try again’. Is this something you’re encouraged to do?

People can be put under enormous pressure to succeed, but when the pressure is released and they are allowed to fail, chances are they are more likely to succeed.

Image credit: hanz.gerwitz.



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6 thoughts on “The verge of success”

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Alan. If I could have one wish for education it would be that we encourage learners to try, fail, and try again. It’s only by examining why something didn’t work that we learn from it. Anything else is spoon feeding!

  1. When I think back to being a youngster sitting up far too late at night with my ZX Spectrum and trying to create user defined graphics or something else equally exciting in the early Eighties on it, but failing again and again, having the stubborn determination to perceiver, then eventually getting things right but challenging WHY it was right this time, I am sure I spent longer on wondering why something was right rather than challenging why previous attempts were wrong, knowing that I would get there eventually and by focusing on the correct answer I would save myself at least part of this process in the future, kept me sane and happy to wake up tired!

    I have always felt that a very good way to remember is to try; get things wrong; then percevier and succeed, and thanks to experience and knowledge gained through the journey, remember.

    1. Hi Alex – thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

      That really stopped me in my tracks. Just as it’s important to reflect on why something didn’t work, it’s equally important to examine why it did!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Mac – it’s great to hear from you. I guess this makes the job of the educator even harder, as much of their job needs to be planned and tracked – where some of the best learning my be tangential.

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