Friday, June 14, 2013

Fail forward

Yesterday during an online conversation I was taking part in, someone asked the question to the group, "What would be the topic of your TED Talk?"

For those not familiar with TED, it is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design – and an organization that hosts conferences which feature inspiring talks by people from all walks of life. Here's a brief one from Richard St. John.

There were a lot of interesting suggestions from the altruistic, "How to harness Africa's potential" to the more educational "A history of Visual Communications."

After a little thought, I chimed in with an idea for a talk titled, "The power of failure."

I wasn't too surprised by the number of people who reacted positively to the topic. As one participant said, "I'm an expert in that myself." to which my reaction was "Every successful person is."

It's not about whether or not one fails – we all fail at one time or another in many parts of our lives – but how one handles failure that matters.

The thing I've learned most from the failures in my life (and there have been many) is that it's never as bad as you think. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off and move forward putting whatever lesson you've learned in your bag to carry along with you on the road ahead.

Being comfortable with failure – notice I didn't say "accepting failure" – allows you to take the risks you'll ultimately need to succeed.

So even knowing that it'll probably be rejected, it's time for me to start work on that TED Talk.

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