Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Turning Failure into Discovery

For years I worked with Tom Crum, author of Magic of Conflict, supporting Tom in teaching workshops on conflict resolution, relationship, and centering. One of the key components in our workshops was what we called the Discovery Model.

In the Discovery Model, the 'limits of perfection' are contrasted with the 'power of discovery.' Most of us live a good deal of our lives in the 'limits of perfection' spectrum. Why? We strive to reach a certain standard or perform similarly to a role model and, when we fail to meet our expectations, we beat ourselves up as failures. In contrast, peak performers view the same failures to meet expectations differently. They view their results as information that can help them reach their goals - - they choose to learn from their experiences and view results as explorations into the unknown.

There are many examples out there of this mode of living, this 'power of disovery' option for viewing our life experiences. For example, the famous folk wisdom quote by Thomas Edison about trying to create a light bulb:  “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”  I am sure you can think of people in your own lives who have persisted in pursuit of a dream despite repeated 'failures'.

As I was reading some favorite blogs that I follow earlier this week, I was delighted to find a great example of the Discovery Model applied to art. David Limrite has a beautiful post, Failure is Freedom, that I really encourage you to surf over to and read. Here are the opening lines of his post, to whet your interest in reading what he has to say:

Failure is integral to the process of art making. If you are not failing, you are not pushing yourself and not taking risks. 
How you choose to handle these missteps is the key. You can let a mistake devastate you, even to the point of giving up. Or, you can be inspired, learn from your failure, keep at it and try again. I try to consider my failures as new pieces waiting to emerge.
Hope that you will be able to come from discovery as you live today!

No comments:

Post a Comment