Be friends with failure.

I just discovered a blog that very succinctly makes an excellent point about the creative process: be friends with failure. This is what my rambling discourse eventually led to as I babbled about creativity. The author writes from the perspective of an artist, but this is true in any discipline. To paraphrase the author, the difference between a master and a beginner is that a master has failed more times than a beginner has even tried.

Creativity comes from mastery, and mastery comes from practice and persistence. It is a process of trial and error, usually involving a lot of error along the way. Too often we give up before we ever really get started, because the process of learning a skill is seldom easy. Finding early success can be just as detrimental to our search for creativity because the fear of failure prevents us from venturing beyond the safety of the success that we have already encountered. The result is that we never learn to be comfortable with failure.

To put it another way, the road to creativity is long and filled with failure. Success is the rare and delightful encounter, at least in the beginning. A fear of failure causes us to either refuse to set off down that road, or else stop at the first encounter with success that we have and refuse to venture any further. How sad is that? For those who keep running, walking, or even trudging down that road, failure becomes an old friend with whom you pass the time. Failure is a friend who stays with you, even as success becomes a more common occurrence.

Learn to accept failure. Learn to be friends with failure. Failure is there to remind you that success does not come easily, and that creativity requires hard work.


Category(s): Education

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