On Penelope Trunk’s blog she posted about how school affects future earnings, and talked about taking her son to pottery class as a way to increase his future earning potential (read the blog, it’s fascinating):
“Then Krista told my son he’d make a pot each time he sits at the wheel. I thought about the study about pottery in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. Students who were asked to make one, great pot, learned much slower than kids who made a terrible pot each time at the wheel. Greatness comes from lots of terribleness, so I liked that we were on that path.”
I really like that sentence: greatness comes from lots of terribleness. Of course we’ve all read it before — that all the great minds out there failed hundreds or thousands of times before nailing a truly great outcome. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb in one shot; it took hundreds of failures (or as he called them, “steps”) to get it right. People don’t succeed because they’re naturally gifted, they succeed because they’re not afraid to fail.