Can joy be found in making mistakes?
This idea of finding fun and joy in making mistakes has been coming at my from multiple angles recently.
#1: In the book Think Again by Adam Grant, which I am reading/leading with a group of leaders, there is a whole chapter title "The Joy of Being Wrong". While exploring it last week, we intentionally looked for evidence to prove ourselves wrong, and I think they enjoyed the process :)
#2: Yesterday, while discussing next books with the business development director for one of the organizations that I work with, he wrote: "There is fun to be found in failing as it brings the organization closer to delivering its mission."
#3: The other night, I started the book Les Vertus de L'Echec written by a French philosophy teacher and author, all about the virtues that we can find in failure.
So if failing is virtuous, and potentially fun and joyful, why do we spend so much time avoiding it, or ruminating on it after it happens?
Is it the word itself, or the mindset around it, that keeps us in struggle?
Let me diverge from this idea for a moment...
A couple of times a week I have tennis lessons. On Tuesdays I play with the women. On Saturdays I play with the men.
A few weeks ago, one of the women asked me if the men used profanities and vulgarities when they played. The men's coach overheard, and commented that everyone was nice. No bad language.
Since then, I have been listening differently.
The men definitely use a different level of vocabulary with plenty of "gros mots" as we call them in French (otherwise known as swear words.)
Yet, they're just words.
If no one had decided that they were swear words, would they be?
If my daughter says the nice equivalent of a swear word, is that still just as bad?
Perhaps, I am getting too philosophical, but I see a parallel to failure.
It's not failure itself that matters.
It's what we make it mean that matters.
It's our perception of failure.
It's our mindset around failure.
It's how we connect our failure to our sense of self and our identity.
So here's what I am concluding (for now)... YES failure can be fun, and there can be joy in being wrong -- IF we decide to approach them that way.
What do you think?
Originally posted on LinkedIn
Read Deeper Not Faster
I am Theresa Destrebecq (I dare you to try to pronounce it...)