In his book Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Disney Animation, explains that “failure isn’t a necessary evil”, as many people think. “In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new. And, as such, should be seen as valuable; without failure we’d have no originality.”
Now, one thing is to embrace failure and to learn from it, and a lot of people speak about the idea of ‘learning from our “mistakes”’, but this is a completely different approach. What we really need to do, says Catmull, is to get rid of the negative baggage associated with failure. Failure isn’t something to be ashamed of. We don’t need to ‘avoid it.’
" Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - SAMUEL BECKETT
He explains that Andrew Stanton (one of the directors at Pixar), envisions failure as the setbacks and tumbles we experience when learning to ride a bike. No one feels ashamed about toppling over when learning to ride a bike, right? If you apply this mindset to everything you attempt, you can begin to subvert the negative connotation associated with making mistakes.
Failure isn’t a bad thing, actually is quite the opposite, as Catmull brilliantly puts it: “Failure is a manifestation of learning.”
So in other words, if we want to grow, to succeed, to become better, we need to avoid the desire to avoid failure.
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