We know that our TEDxMelbourne community is passionate. Passionate about learning new information from others, and even more passionate about sharing those ideas with like minded souls. We want to inspire and motivate our community and as we’re looking for speakers for our Open Mic Night you could be the one to motivate them! You may be surprised to hear that a podcast about failure inspires us but read on to find out why!
Have you considered that it is our failures, not our successes, that help us grow and find understanding? Not only about ourselves but about our greater purpose?If you go to any self-help section of a bookstore you’ll face a plethora of books telling you how to succeed. ‘How to win friends and influence people’ has sold over 15 million copies. ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’ is a global phenomenon and has sold over 20 million! It’s human nature to want to succeed and we’re looking for ways to get us there. That’s where Elizabeth Day’s podcast, How to Fail comes in. Day is an English journalist and author. She says; ‘this is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. It’s about learning from our mistakes and understanding that why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. Because learning how to fail, actually means learning how to succeed better.’
How to Fail was an accidental find, as podcast gems often are. Now in its third season, Day interviews a personality and encourages them to discuss three perceived failures. And what learnings they applied from those failures, that led to their success. There’s a mix of personalities who’ve taken part, well known names including pop star Lily Allen and American author Tara Westover (Barack Obama named her book Educated as one of his top in 2018). One of our favourite episodes is with politician and activist, Gina Miller. She’s the woman who sued the UK government over the triggering of Article 50 to leave the European Union! Although her subjects are not (usually) her friends, Day is well researched, and she’s learnt about each person outside of their three failures. But more importantly, she’s an effective listener. This leads to candid, often heartbreaking but real conversations with successful people. You walk away from each episode feeling like you’ve learnt something, just as these people did when they failed.
In this social media age where everything is fuelled by a like on Instagram, Day’s podcast pulls back the curtain. There is no topic off limits. Mental health, divorce, a woman’s choice to have children (or not) rejection from the dream university and being fired. Although she isn’t the first person to tackle failure, Day’s unique format encourages the listener to remember that success does not equate to never failing. And that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Truman Capote once said, ‘”Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour,” and the late American playwright Edward Albee said (and we’re paraphrasing) ‘to succeed interestingly you first need to fail interestingly.’ Many in our community have reached out to say they want to apply to speak at our Open Mic Night but they’re afraid to fail. To which we say be afraid! But also don’t be afraid to try, because even if you fail, you will nonetheless be on the path to success.
The TEDxMelbourne community are an open, supportive and passionate group who can’t wait to hear your ideas and start spreading them! If you’re thinking of applying but not sure if you’re ready to speak in front of an audience, listen to Day’s podcast (Apple Podcasts or Spotify) and be inspired.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at Open Mic!
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Reflecting with one of last year’s Open Mic Night speaker’s Josh Brnjac.
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