Let’s talk about failure. It saddens me, and freaks me out to realize how much society and school treats failure as a bad word. That trying something new and not succeeding the first time, that risking, that reaching is bad. There is no try in school. There is the right answer and the wrong answer. Sure failing is not super fun or a walk in the park, but in order to get better we can’t take the easy way out. And that means falling. Here’s a great quote from choreographer Twyla Tharp which I read over on Hollywood Actor Prep:
“Sooner or later, all real change involves failure but not in the sense that many people understand failure. If you do only what you know and do it very, very well, chances are that you won’t fail. You’ll just stagnate, and your work will get less and less interesting, and that’s failure by erosion. True failure is a mark of accomplishment in the sense that something new and different was tried”
I’ve just been invited to speak to the Drama in Education students (and some performance students as well) at Brock University. This is my third time and most of my speech is about failing. How landing on my butt time and time again (and time, and time) is the reason I’m driven today. Success has less to do with having money, and having breaks, and being lucky, and sitting in the right coffee shop at the right time. It’s falling off the horse and having the will to get right back on.
What was the last thing you tried that was a risk and it didn’t work out? What did you learn from that risk? How did falling make you better?