Taking the Challenge: Not Fearing Failure

I read this article about how one SME doesn’t think that TED talks are very effective.

In the Yahoo News article Ted Talks Don’t Work, says TED talker, it says: “At a societal level, the bottom line is if we invest in things that make us feel good but which don’t work, and don’t invest things that don’t make us feel good but which may solve problems, then our fate is that it will just get harder to feel good about not solving problems. In this case the placebo is worse than ineffective, it’s harmful.”

I think that Bratton hit the nail on the head. Not only is this true of investing in things that help us solve problems, but it is also true of life. I find that just cruising around and doing things that make me feel good is great. However, when I continue to cruise through life, always taking the easy way out, and stop seeking out challenges, it leaves me feeling empty. How does society expect to progress if we are not actively involved in trying to figure out how to solve problems? How far would we have come if we didn’t try to solve the same problem over and over again until we found solutions and success because we stuck with it, all the while challenging ourselves to find the answer?

I remember attending presentations where the speakers suggested several way to improve different areas of life including finances and relationships. He gave 5 steps to be more effective in these areas. How many of those in audience took home the suggestions and acted on them? If they didn’t act, what stopped them? What stops me?

While I haven’t really researched this next thought, I found it interesting to ponder. After attending the American History Museum, I was astounded at how much we have progressed since the early 1800’s. It seemed that innovation, discovery, and technology was stymied for hundreds of years until the years of enlightenment. What was it that brought on so many successes?

Looking at our society now and how innovation works, are we prepared to take risks, or to fail in order to find the successful answers? While the research jobs allow for discovery and failure, a lot of corporate America has somewhat of a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to failing in order to find success. Our media seems to focus on the failures of society – highlighting failure as something that is unacceptable.

I can’t help but think that this fear of failure is preventing us from being the next Alexander Graham Bell, or Einstein, or (insert famous inventor here).

My Takeaway

  • Dare to fail in order to succeed, and encourage it
  • Use educational and inspirational conversations to take the challenge and put them into action
  • Develop accountability measures or rewards for taking the challenge