Fail Your Way To Creativity
The creative genius is remembered for their successes, but the reality is their tally of failures is far greater—orders of magnitude greater in fact.
Edison, for example, failed over 1,000 times before he found the right filament for his incandescent lightbulb. Statistically he failed 99.9% of the time at making light bulbs, but no one cares about the bulbs that never lit. We celebrate him for the one that did.
James Dyson built 5,126 prototypes before he got his vacuum cleaner to actually work. Like Edison, his bullseye was accompanied by an unimaginable number of misses.
Creative endeavors aren’t dissimilar. Most attempts flop. But failure isn’t the opposite of success, it is a crucial point along the path towards it.
Thus, the more creative you are, or would like to be, the more comfortable you must become with falling on your face. What separates the creative genius from the rest is their persistence and willingness to try again.
I was reminded of this when I happened upon a twitter banner with a thought provoking image which I’ve recreated below. I think it offers an excellent visualization of this concept.
Shoot your shot. If you miss, shoot again.