Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Failure Gift

"What's wrong with them? I wondered. I always thought you coped with failure or you didn't cope with failure. I never thought anyone loved failure."

"I was determined to figure it out--to understand the kind of mindset that could turn failure into a gift."

"Not only weren't they discouraged by failure, they didn't even think they were failing. They thought they were learning."

Carol Dweck, The New Psychology of Success

It's great to be school-age and learning, but can grown-up out-of-schoolers feel the same thing. Talking failure and learning and innovation is fine in organizations as long as you are contributing to overall performance, at least most of the time. My vegetable garden, on the other hand, is a storybook of failure -- and some "bright moments" of success. Simply, it's my personal, ongoing experiment. I've probably learned more than I've harvested and eaten -- and that's fine. I care about my garden, but not too much. Like, what a surprise, my radishes came up. I could have planted them more densely and grown more, but nobody likes them but me. And I waited a week too long to harvest so the larger ones are squishy and mealy. Let's plant some more green beans.

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