Looking at Art – and Failure – With a Whole New Mind

failure equals perfection

Looking at Art – and Failure – With a Whole New Mind

Looking at Art – and Failure – With a Whole New Mind 1024 627 Kim B.

Everybody likes to win – in life and business.

Everybody likes to win – in life and in business. After all, to the victors go the spoils (and a place in history). So sometimes when you fail, you feel like Nathaniel Hawthorne has branded you with a big scarlet letter – especially when you inhabit a culture in which winners are not just handed golden trophies, but deified.

We all seem to have an inherent psychological aversion to failure (and as a species that once needed to survive against a lot of odds, that really makes sense). Yet, failure serves as a very important source of creativity and learning for just about everyone – individuals, organizations, and even the government.



In business, failure can be a game-ender.

Therefore, some who are just starting to forge their way in the corporate world to navigate the seemingly shark-infested waters of office politics – or learn entrepreneurship – avoid failure at all costs.

But by learning from his or her mistakes, a young professional, manager, or entrepreneur can come up with the next big winner. Maybe it’s an innovation strategy that could prove profitable – and maybe it won’t be for this business or next, but in a venture down the line.

Until the day we cease to exist, we are all works in progress.

We are artists that way – we dream, we plan, we execute, we fail, we learn from our mistakes. In short, we create. We are never really “perfect,” at least not in a society where rapid changes might render that perfection obsolete overnight.

Art has little to do with a masterpiece that sits dormant in a museum. Art has more to do with the kind of thinking – and doing – that went into the creation of that masterpiece. Inherent in that process is the inevitability of not getting it right the first, or even second, time. Also built into that process is the opportunity to learn from your previous mistakes so that you can hone your craft and get better each time.


Art is a very human act, because it’s all about exploring possibilities and leaping into the unknown, with the understanding that not all outcomes will run according to plan.

In that sense, making art is courting uncertainty. But in that uncertainly lies the promise of what could become, the potential of things that could be.



Icon Credits (thenounproject.com):

Bradley Avison; Juan Pablo Bravo; Kirill Kolchenko; Gan Khoon Lay; Mister Pixel; Studio Fibonacci