Friday I was having a conversation with my boss Lisa Wexler about failure. She was recounting a story about the founder of Spanx – Sara Blakely and her family dinners. “What did you fail at today”? Was the question her Father posed each night at mealtime. Hum, “what did you fail at”? It got me thinking about all the scientists we build laboratories for, these amazing folks that are hard at work solving the world’s problems. Scientists live in failure, they turn their faces up to it like one might tilt one’s head to feel the warmth of the sun on a cold winter’s day. Each failure a learning moment, inching them toward a success.
“A life making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing”. George Bernard Shaw
I spent my morning at the site thinking about all the mistakes I have made on this project alone. From paint colors to sequencing, mathematical miscalculations to the naive faith in a plan well laid. I no longer have a Master Plan, but to steal the wise words of my good friend Pam Delphenich – I have a Framework Plan. It’s so much more forgiving. Life throws curve balls, and really it’s the master, not me.
“Even the knowledge of my fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.” Vincent Van Gogh
My journey is a long one. I am not yet halfway through my quest. There are bound to be mistakes along the way. Public failures, private trials, disasters side by side with minor mishaps. I will be afraid. I will doubt. I will keep moving, I think, with a smile on my face, both literally, and metaphorically.
“If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum.” Holly Near
My promise and advise to anyone that strives to make an imprint, is learn from the mistakes of others, and be ready to receive the insights of those that you make. The possibilities, and potential are dizzying.
“I hope that this year to come you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” Neil Gaiman
Stay curious. I hope 2017 brings you a whole lot of living. Thank you for all your support. Whether I am just scraping my knees or getting my heart-broken, in the infamous words of The Beatles….”I get by with a little help from friends.”