I don’t like to fail. I’m sure you don’t either. But I have and I do fail. A lot. It’s difficult for me to keep moving, to keep trying after I realize that I have failed. Sometimes, I refuse to see it when it’s right in front of me. The most dangerous part about this is that most times when we fail, we face it alone. You’re listening to Living the Freedom Life, ep 83 and today we are talking about Embracing Failure Alone.
Well, today I would like to talk about Embracing Failure.
When I think of someone embracing failure, I think of one of my favorite people.
Thomas Alva Edison He has a Birthday this week. He was one who never got discouraged by failure.
He holds almost 1100 patents on his inventions
He was the youngest of nine siblings.
At an early age he developed hearing problems and by the time he was a young adult, he was partially deaf. That strongly influenced his behavior and career, which led him to be one of the greatest inventors in two centuries.
You may be familiar with the Phonograph = This mechanical machine Recorded audio onto a wax cylinder and you could play it back. I have a canister that once held one of those wax cylinders sitting in my office. It took Edison over 800 failures to have this famed success of the Phonograph. Aren’t you glad he learned to embrace failure and kept going?
Another invention of Edison’s, the Mimeograph = The Mimeograph is interesting because it led to something that will soon be phased out of your office (if not already), the printer.
Centuries ago, The Gutenberg printing press was purely mechanical. Edison’s Mimeograph was electronic. Edison had over 250 designs before he reached a successful stencil and copy with the Mimeograph. Aren’t you glad he learned to embrace failure?
Another invention of Edison’s was something he called the Electric Pen. Now the Electric Pen didn’t have much fame at the time, but you benefit from this everyday, in fact, right now.
The Electric Pen laid the foundation to modern day electronic memory, in other words, the memory on your phone and other devices stemmed from Edison’s over 1,000 failures in the design of his Electric Pen. Aren’t you glad he learned to embrace failure?
And, before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Edison paved the way for him and came up with a way to transmit four signals on one wire for the telegraph. But, Edison found approximately 50 ways of how it shouldn’t be done. Once again, embracing failure.
The Kinetoscope which led to the projector and ushered in the silent movies, he devised several plans to synchronize sound with moving pictures. That took many failures before success.
Last, but definitely not the least of Edison’s inventions is the infamous light bulb. By studying The Sun’s Corona emissions during a solar eclipse in the Rocky Mountains, the vision for Edison’s incandescent light bulb started. It wasn’t until 15 years later was he successful in the light bulb.
One of the most famous quotes of Edison, and it is my favorite. It is the anchor of this episode. Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Once more, Thomas Edison wasn’t alone. He always had at least one other person along side him. Oh, at first, he thought it was to supplement his hearing ailment. Then he learned that another perspective was important. Peer pressure to succeed and synergy was important too. But one of the most important of those character traits that ‘ol Tommy and his team had, was trust in each other. Sure they had differences but they learned to appreciate them and saw power in that.
They learned together that failure isn’t just an answer to our efforts. We often look at our failure as a permanent answer when we try something new. We don’t like to fail. That’s the reason most people don’t like to try new things. Then we complain that things are always the same. We convince ourselves that there is no use in trying because there will always be failure. And remember, we don’t like to fail so we don’t try new things. If that were the case, we would still be living in caves and tents.
Thomas Edison learned that failure was a mere recalculation, to steer us toward a solution, to succeed and he learned that we should not do it alone.
That’s why we offer what we offer.
Failure can tell us not only about what we’ve done isn’t successful, but it can begin to tell us about who we are.
There is a big difference between failing at something and thinking you are a failure.
There is always recalculation.
We hope that you understand that everyone faces failure.
We hope that you aren’t facing failure alone.
If you are, we want to help.
Until next time, Living the Freedom Life, this is Kyle.