August 15th Is National Failure Day
Various articles and links about the National Day of Failure and related:
Despite popular belief, the inventor wasn’t the “Wiz” of everything
…Chances are you haven’t heard of Edison’s botched ideas, several of which are highlighted here, because the Ohio native refused to dwell on them. DeGraaf says, “Edison’s not a guy that looks back. Even for his biggest failures he didn’t spend a lot of time wringing his hands and saying ‘Oh my God, we spent a fortune on that.’ He said, ‘we had fun spending it.’”
Origin of the day
The first Day for Failure was held in 2010 by Finnish university students. Their reasoning was that Finland would be needing thousands of new businesses and jobsin the future, but a natural fear of inadequacy was holding many people back from founding those businesses or pursuing those jobs.
By the second year, the Day for Failure had gained so much publicity that big names in Finnish society such as Nokia’s chair of the board of directors Jorma Ollila, Angry Bird’s creator Peter Vesterbacka, and coach of the men’s ice hockey team Jukka Jalonen spoke out in support of it. Now in its eighth year, many Finnish artists, media personalities, and politicians are continuing to support the day and have shared stories of their own defeats which turned into wins on the official website.
Why celebrate failure?
The reason the founders decided to devote an entire day to screwing up is because it is frowned upon in Finnish society. A need to succeed has created many talented people who have achieved a lot, but it makes others feel inadequate and afraid of trying new things.
The organisers of the Day for Failure argue that making mistakes is a normal and healthy part of life which goes towards success, rather than detracting from it. They invite big names and high achievers to speak on the day and explain the setbacks they have had in their own journeys to success and how they learned from them to provide inspiration to others.
Encouraging people to try new or difficult things without worrying about the consequences gives them the confidence to step out of their comfort zone and enjoy an activity. By sharing stories and photos of botched attempts online, they lose their natural fear of criticism.