Failure, It’s OK

Image credit to Flickr user Tomasz Stasiuk

This morning, I was reading through Dave Guymon’s book If You Can’t Fail, It Doesn’t Count and I kept coming back to his remarks in the introduction.

If we never fail, it means that what we are doing has already been done or isn’t worth doing in the first place. If we never fail it is because we are comfortable where we are, not moving. If we never fail, it means that we don’t truly want to succeed. That might be fine for you if you are simply here to exist.

But if you are here to live with a fury, you need to fail.

I think this is a mindset educators need to embrace for this upcoming school year. We want our students to be creative and be problem solvers, so we have to do the same as teachers and leaders. This isn’t a call for being reckless; it’s a desire that we take on efforts that have the potential for significant improvements in what we learn and how we teach. If these plans don’t find perfect success, that’s OK because we learn a lot from the efforts that fall apart as we move toward our goals.

My favorite Corey

Being a guy who grew up in the 80s, I saw a lot of Corey Feldman’s work– the good (Stand By Me, Goonies, Gremlins, Lost Boys), the bad, and the really bad. Even though I think his best acting days are behind him, I appreciate the fact that he keeps trying new projects and ignores his critics.

Jon Samuelson and I were messing around with a new app tonight called Rithm. It’s a fun app that allows you to send short snippets of music to friends. I found a Corey Feldman version of the song “Imagine” (yes, very risky to try to cover Lennon), and made a little Rithm clip and sent it to Jon. Jon made mention of it on Twitter, and then the magic happened. Corey Feldman himself retweeted Jon.

Yes, this is a weird nerdy story about being retweeted by a 1980s child actor, but the 14 year old inside my 40 year old self got pretty excited.

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11 Ways to Avoid Burnout and Reinvigorate Your Creativity

11 Ways to Avoid Burnout and Reinvigorate Your Creativity.

(Just sharing from a post from a blog I’ve recently started following.)

Especially in schools, we see burnout (just the temporary kind) from students and staff several times per year. Seems like winter break and spring break take place a few days after many of us in school have hit our low in energy and patience.

I especially like tip #2, which is “strategic procrastination.” There are some tasks I’m just not mentally ready for, so rather than do nothing at all, it’s important to intentionally put off a task and focus on another. Don’t put them off indefinitely. Make sure you follow your GTD principles and schedule when you will get back to it. Don’t waste mental energy on worrying about when that task will get done. Put it on the calendar, and focus that energy on the task at hand. By the time you get back to the delayed job, you may find some renewed energy for it.

I also follow tip #5, “change of scenery,” many times in the course of a week. If I have some mundane work to do on my computer, rather than sitting in my office, I’ll take my laptop to the happy hustle and bustle of our school library. I also like taking some of this work to one of the classrooms in the school. There are several teachers in my building who I’m comfortable saying to, “Mind if I just park it at your back table? I’m not here to evaluate, I just have some computer work to do and am tired of being in my office.”

It’s a great post, please give it a read.

11 Ways to Avoid Burnout and Reinvigorate Your Creativity.