While we have not posted a compilation of TED Talks in quite some time, it does not mean we have not been watching. In fact, we have a slew of favorites to share with you. We figured we would start with a list of TED Talks that touch on the subject of failure. Now, we know how that sounds, but hear us out. There is no denying that failure is a difficult thing to experience; however, there is a lot to be learned from the failures you encounter (and you will face plenty in your lifetime.)
With the New Year comes new goals, but what happens when you fail at something you set out to accomplish? Here are five TED Talks to help determine how to learn from the times you fail.
“Great dreams aren’t just visions,” says Astro Teller, “They’re visions coupled to strategies for making them real.” The head of X (formerly Google X), Teller takes us inside the “moonshot factory,” as it’s called, where his team seeks to solve the world’s biggest problems through experimental projects like balloon-powered Internet and wind turbines that sail through the air. Find out X’s secret to creating an organization where people feel comfortable working on big, risky projects and exploring audacious ideas.
Elizabeth Gilbert was once an “unpublished diner waitress,” devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple — though hard — way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.
Jia Jiang adventures boldly into a territory so many of us fear: rejection. By seeking out rejection for 100 days — from asking a stranger to borrow $100 to requesting a “burger refill” at a restaurant — Jiang desensitized himself to the pain and shame that rejection often brings and, in the process, discovered that simply asking for what you want can open up possibilities where you expect to find dead ends.
Sometimes trying your best isn’t enough; when the situation demands it, you need to be perfect. For Jon Bowers, who runs a training facility for professional delivery drivers, the stakes are high — 100 people in the US die every day in car accidents — and it’s perfection, or “a willingness to do what is difficult to achieve what is right,” that he looks to achieve. He explains why we should all be equally diligent about striving toward perfection in everything we do, even if it means failing along the way.
We celebrate bold entrepreneurs whose ingenuity led them to success, but what happens to those who fail? Far too often, they bury their stories out of shame or humiliation — and miss out on a valuable opportunity for growth, says author and entrepreneur Leticia Gasca. In this thoughtful talk, Gasca calls for business owners to open up about their failures and makes the case for replacing the idea of “failing fast” with a new mantra: fail mindfully.
Let us know what some of your favorite TED Talks are in the comment section below!