the art of failure


Embrace failure.  What’s the worst that could happen?  You might fail?  Great odds, considering you will fail without doubt if you never even begin.  The good news is that every failure creates an opportunity to begin again with additional knowledge.  The second time you attempt something you will be in a better position to succeed, likely creating something much more successful than you attempted in the first-go-round. 

Failure lets you know that you can do better.  It’s the personal coach inside your head telling you to push forward and strive for your best.  Do you need to add something to your vision, or take something away?  What mistakes were made the first time, and how can they be remedied?

Failure presents dazzling opportunities for growth and creativity, and, if you play your cards right, success. 

To make failing easier, more of a routine, perhaps, I pledge to 1) Recognize failure as a growth opportunity; 2) Learn from mistakes and shortcomings; 3) Apply new knowledge to all future attempts;  and 4) Remember that I haven’t truly failed until I’ve given up.  

I spent the day creating a baby gift for a dear friend, inspired by the welcome wreath that I made my sister.  My hands and my mind were  clearly up to different things, right?  The thing is, I’ve been spending a lot of time contemplating my current situation, my future goals, and different ways of shortening the gap between the two points.  When I’m busy working with my hands, my mind takes the opportunity to wander freely.  Hope you don’t mind the disjunction between the are of failure and the art of crafting 🙂

As for the wreath, the entire thing was made from colorful papers, glue, and a little tape.  I wanted to put a unique spin on the traditional baby gift, and so I went with a “welcome to the world” shadow box.  You can see the process below:Image
I began by sketching the globe and making notes where the ‘welcome to the world’ would be written.Image
The second step was to create cut-outs of the necessary continents on colorful paper:Image
Tape your circular globe to a plane sheet of paper:
And then stick your continent cutouts to the globe —  I used a thick tacky glue so that they would pop off the sheet just a bit:Image
Simple as draw, cut, & glue:

23 thoughts on “the art of failure

  1. So cute! I love this. Beautifully crafted words also, Jen… you are so right. Every time I’ve failed and tried again, I’ve grown richer in spirit, wiser in mind and stronger in heart. Sounds cliched but true all the same. Beautiful post xx

  2. The art is so cute! And I think you should check out the song “Failure” by Martin Sexton. It’s a favorite of mine, especially if I’m feeling badly about where I am.

  3. I especially love the poignant observation in your first paragraph, “you will fail without doubt if you never even begin.” It’s something we all know in our heart of hearts, but often push to the back-burner and rationalize away. I appreciate you bringing it front and center, thank you 😉

    And your shadow box is really cool also, reminds me that we are all interconnected and a part of the same world. Have an awesome weekend!

  4. Amen to everything you said about failure! I’m with ya, girl. I need to do a bit more of learning from my mistakes rather than being angry about them happening….and your baby gift is adorable! Gah!

  5. Well said lady!
    If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative. -Woody Allen
    Let us all fail over and over so we can achieve something great.

  6. Pingback: Take Two Steps Back | My DDP Yoga Journey

  7. I love your routine! It’s so true… sometimes I am afraid of thinking big because of failure and its important to step back and realize whats most important. Great post!

  8. I love your writing and this one really rings true to me! I always find inspiration and deep thoughts while I am doing something (walking, doing dishes, laundry, etc.). Your shadow box is adorable and perfect for a new baby! 🙂 Thank you for reminding me that I need to be creative more. Maybe it is time to go back to my painting… something to ponder as I go wash the dishes. 😀

    “The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” Agatha Christie

  9. The art of failure is truly one of the best things in life- it grows you as a person and definitely leads to a point of success if you get back up. I will always keep this in my mind, thanks for the beautiful reminder.

    What a sweet little project you have there! Great DIY inspiration!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Hey, Jen! I just wanted to let you know that some of your posts haven’t been showing up in the Reader. I think it’s because if a post has more than 15 tags, it gets filtered out of the Reader (I read that somewhere in the WordPress help center thingy). Just thought I’d get ya a heads up!

    • who uses more than 15 tags? that sounds like going overboard quite a bit, no? wordpress inspired the madness (they have that thing where they suggest more and more tags) and then no reader? hm.. guess i’ll stop taking all of those suggestions 🙂 thanks for the heads up, and hope it’s as beautiful in wisconsin as it is in minneapolis 🙂

  11. Jennifer, as always, this hits me right when I needed to read it most! While I’m always one to celebrate failing (and failing a lot, especially when it comes to creating things or figuring out who you are) it doesn’t feel great to fall on my face 🙂 This post was a great reminder of the things we can gain from failure. And puts in perspective how frustrated I got last night trying a new crochet pattern. Total fail. And I will just have to try again tonight!

    • Crochet? Sounds like a fun experiment that is almost guaranteed to be more complicated than you’d expect. This post was actually inspired by a crafting project gone wrong 🙂 Haha.. the little things can be frustrating, right?

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