I Want To Fail Because I Want To Learn To Succeed
I've come to a conclusion that I don't fail enough. So, I have decided to increase my failure rate.
I read a George Couros quote on Twitter recently that teachers need to encourage a higher failure rate. I know he meant to communicate the need to encourage our students to take more risks and not fear failure, because the more times they attempt something, and undoubtedly fail, the closer they will be to the solution - the success.
According to Ryan Holiday and his book "The Obstacle Is The Way," Thomas Edison went through 6000 different kinds of materials before he discovered the one that worked as filament in a light bulb.
6000? Is there enough time in one person's lifetime to prepare for a specific purpose and experiment with 6000 different materials? There was in Edison's. The word on the street is that he slept 3 hours per night on average. Oh and he had help.
Luckily, successful people fail 19 out of 20 times on average in their endeavors. That's still a 95% failure rate, but nothing compared to Edison's failure rate with that one incandescent bulb, which ironically has now been replaced with superior CFL and LED technology. Go and try to buy one at Target. I dare you!
Imagine an NBA team having a player who makes only 5% of his free throws. Shaq couldn't do that and we all know he tried. Hard. A 5% player would have given up a long time ago. He would have been cut a long time ago. Embarrassed. Shamed. Thrown aside.
But school isn't sports. And it should not be a competition. And we must communicate that to students.
Then we walk the walk.
We must take risks ourselves. We must fail. Embrace our failures. Reveal them to our students. Describe what we've learned from them. Say how we responded. Present what we've learned. Explain how we ultimately succeeded.
And WE MUST DO IT OVER AND OVER. Only then it can become okay to fail.
And then we level that up.
We must make failure not just okay, but necessary. We have to become stronger as a result and guide our students to that same destination: strength.
The success rate is 5% on average. 5 flipping percent! That sucks doesn't it?
You know what else sucks? Notebooks.
Let's be honest. School notebooks available on the market suck. I'm talking crappy off-white (or is that beige?) paper, see-through sheets ink bleeds through, and wire binding that deforms. And they do not help students learn. Why not?
If you want a decent cover you'll have to spend $5 or more. And you still get the see-through paper and crap binding!
Enter Cornell Notes on Steroids Notebook - a unique school notebook that combines Quality with Functionality - 3x Thicker White Paper, Durable Binding and Cover, and a Learning Template.
It is a product I created last year. It is a product I failed with last year. I failed with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign - check it out. I failed in marketing it. I failed in selling it.
I was bummed out, frustrated, disappointed, but not defeated. I failed and I am glad I did, because I'm learning. I failed and I'm glad because I'm becoming stronger.
The notebook is probably a product I will fail with again, because I have not reached my failure quota yet.
Tough shit. I believe in it and I must keep going.
Cool thing is, I already have a story to tell my students. And, the notebook is not the only thing I failed at. I am a good teacher, but I failed many students. I failed in recognizing what they needed, how to treat them, and how to help them. And I know I will fail again, but each time the failure will have a lesser effect on me and on my students. It's because we'll be learning to fail together, failing together, and learning from failing together.
So here's my next attempt at failure. Or success, I'm not sure any more. I'm ready.
I've started another crowdfunding campaign, because failure is so much fun. Check out the video and the link below - even that opening shot's an epic fail!
It'll be epic!
Thanks for reading and considering buying my notebooks. Or helping me fail. Either way I will succeed :-P
The Cornell Notes on Steroids Notebooks are actually pretty awesome. But, no one knows about them. Now you know.
First 3 people to comment below and give Edison's failure rate as a percentage will receive a Cornell Notes on Steroids Notebook. I will contact you about your address and ship it out to you 100% free.
You Have The Power To Change The World. Use It Often.