Failure

This week’s Question of the Week video features a blurry close-up of part of my hand and a question by Regina Dugan that I find really intriguing: “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” Because it’s not actual failure that stops us — the failures and disappointments we go through when we try to create, emotionally challenging though they may be, are actually opportunities for data-collection (also known as learning). What stops us from trying is the idea of failure, the prediction of it, and how foolish/ashamed/angry/sad we’ll feel when it hits.

So, what would I attempt if I knew I could not fail? Hmmm…..

You can listen to Regina Dugan’s Ted Talk here. She works at DARPA - the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - and I find some of the applications of her creativity and boldness disturbing. I wish she were applying her brains, creativity and hutzpah to things like global warming rather than military drones (and maybe she is, in her free time). But she clearly has a powerful mind, and I think her question, and the spirit behind it, can be applied to everything from the desire to write a cool poem to the urge to end world hunger.

So thanks, Regina, for the inspiring question.