“I had to screw up those jobs. They were vital…”

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Adam Savage, who is one of the special effects artists who routinely blows things up on Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, did a talk at Makers Faire on Failure. What’s amazing is how good it was.

I’m busy researching Happiness — it turns out that I needed more research because what I had been writing turned out probably at least half wrong — so there’s more Happiness stuff coming. But failure is often looked at as something that will destroy your happiness: Adam shows how that’s not true.

He’s obviously winging it, but it’s Adam and he’s been doing TV for awhile now, and frankly it felt like he pulled it off.

Don’t let the first story slow you down. It’s the second failure story, the one about being an art director for a film school student, that hits home. At least for me. I can still taste the first time I blew it like that.

He follows it with the reasons why failure is important:

What is success? Success is moving forward. Success is being able to build on what you’ve done and continue to do it, to move forward. So if I think of success as the road, I think of failure as the car you’re driving…. It’s the vehicle by which I move forward. It’s those incremental steps.

And he’s right: there’s something that allows you to see patterns and taste the risk of something blowing up in your face. In his case, really blowing up.

MythBuster Adam Savage’s Colossal Failures” on FORA.tv.

I just realized that I don’t have a category for “Success”. Odd.

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