Want To Be Successful? You Must First Learn To Fail.

Reposted from Big Think. Written by An Phung on June 25, 2012, 12:00 AM

What is the Big Idea?

Walter Mosley is famous for his mystery and crime fiction. But there is very little mystery behind the secret to his success.  First, writing takes practice. Mosley has been writing every day for the last 27 years. Then, he says, he writes without regard for acceptance or success.

“Some of my stories work, some of them don’t work,” said the 60-year-old.  “Some of them are like, you know, fit perfectly into you know, like a structure that somebody would want to publish and deal with.  It doesn’t matter to me because I’m writing, I’m using language and I’m using that language to tell stories and even more so to get ideas across.”

Mosley writes because he loves it, and not because he needs fame or recognition. His passion and willingness to fail may be the source of his award-winning career as a novelist. He is the author of more than 37 books, which have been translated into 23 languages.

“I never really thought I’d be successful,” he said. “I never thought I’d get books published, but this was something completely beyond me.  You know, the fact that it happened is wonderful, but it is not something that I was aiming for.”

What is the Significance?

Failure is a daunting concept in this competitive economy, where job seekers and employees are expected to outshine their peers in order to rise to the top.  But whether you’re attempting to write your first crime novel or start your own company, trying and failing is much more interesting that playing it safe and consistently succeeding.

Growth and learning happens when you fail, says Mosley.

“In art and in science it’s failure that teaches you,” he said. “Doing something right never teaches you.  It’s only failure that you learn from.”

Watch Walter Mosley talk about the role of failure in a successful career:

Image courtesy of djgis/Shutterstock.com

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I personally couldn’t agree more. I think it’s important to fail so that you truly understand why something works.

One place Kevin and I have experienced this with aerials. On countless occasions, Kev and I have seen aerials, tried them, and found immediate success. As time continued, the aerial(s) would stop working for one reason or another. As we fixed one problem, we then were introduced to another problem. After about a 6 month period, anything that could go wrong had, but we were back to the beginning when the aerial worked and this time with a much greater understanding why we were successful. Once we have come full circle, then we start teaching the aerials. 🙂

So students, if you are working on your dancing, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t get something right away. Fellow instructors, please don’t be afraid to refrain from giving your students “the answers” immediately. The process of discovery why things work is actually a lot of fun and can be incredibly satisfying.

Hugs from Herrang!!

 

Aerial: The Cupcake

If you’ve taken an aerial class with Kevin and me in the last year, you’ve probably had the opportunity to learn the Cupcake from us.

The Back Story:

We saw Jeremy Otth and Laura Keat do this aerial at Camp Hollywood in 2008 and were super wowed by it.

If you go to 4:37, you can watch their routinelette that has “The Cupcake” in it.

They saw this aerial on So You Think You Can Dance and lindy-fied it. Super cool. To be honest, I hadn’t seen the clip of the original aerial until today….and here it is:

If you fast forward to 1:20 ish, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Then Kevin and I figured out how to do the aerial while in Herrang 2009 and debuted our version of it at Lindy Focus. We finally decided on the name after doing this aerial in a jam.

To see the jam, go to 1:57.

You see, that fabulous dress I am wearing is rather cupcake-like and you might notice, when I land on Kevin’s shoulders, his head has disappeared. He is inside my cupcake dress. Hence…cupcake.

You’re welcome.

😀

Camp Jitterbug 2009

What an AWESOME time I had this year!!!! But what a surprise, since I have a great time every year I’ve gone.

Something that was different for me this year than previous years was that I wasn’t a main instructor, meaning I had very few responsibilities. I can’t begin to tell you how awesome that is!! It was great to be apart of the CJ team, but it was a real treat to get to feel like a camper as well. Moving along……Kevin and I taught two classes: “The Follow Goes Round and Round” (we got to do a bunch of technique in the class, and I did the entire class wearing a corset) and an aerial class where we taught the backpack and the crunch toss. The students in the aerial class were some of the best we’ve worked with. What great enthusiasm they had and how well they all went over. 😀

I must note that the facilities were ridiculously gorgeous. The Century Ballroom is even nicer than I remember it to be; I presume there have been renovations. Kevin and I decided we must own that building (what a surprise…we do that everywhere we go) and picked out where our bedrooms would be and where dance classes would take place. Amazing!!! We’d also take Privya (or whatever the name is) and that entire building. Man, that was a sweet place as well.

Ok, so here is some background which will help piece the rest of this weekend together. The intermingled part of the Killer Dillers (Kevin & Sharon, Juan & me) stayed at my parents place which was totally pimped out. My parents (horn tooting-time) pimped us out royally. We had a car and a Vespa to drive, each couple had their own bedroom, the shower is WAY nicer than the one we have at Hoodstock, there was food in the refrigerator, my mum cooked and my dad made me and Sharon Manhattans. They fucking rock, there is just no two-ways about it. Some other highlights: we ate at Umi Sake House, we had Mighty-O donuts, Juan and Sharon made it to the Charleston Finals and took 3rd in the Lindy Hop competition, and Kevin and I took first in the lindy hop competition.

Here’s the video of the Lindy Competition:

The highlight of the weekend was the surprise Single Ladies performance by Bethany Powell, Stacia Martin, Karen Turman. I saw them rehearsing in the bathroom before they went out and it was honestly a bit too much for me to handle….they were far too fierce for the space they were in….thank god they performed on a large floor!! Here’s there performance. Watch and think amazed thoughts:

Yeah. Seriously. Wow!

Ooooh, and I almost forgot, the Jump Session Show!! I threw canes to Nathan for his Fascinating Rhythm routine with Kevin and Juan (and unfortunately threw some wild one’s…..cringe), dressed up like a hick for Andrew and Karen’s Howdown routine, and performed “Puttin’ on the Ritz” with Sharon.

All in all, I had an awesome freaking weekend. I saw my parents and caught up with my West Coast friends, had some brilliant social dances, ate good food, performed in a great show, and won the lindy hop couples contest. Sweet.