Today I had a few students come to conferences talking about their “struggles” in learning how to do new things. And frankly, I was happy hearing this. For one, it shows that they are working hard at what they are doing. If you don’t struggle, what do you learn? If things come easy to you, what do you learn from that? I don’t think you would learn much. And even downright failure, which I know some of these students have felt at one time or another during this semester, is a learning opportunity. In that spirit, here are 8 TED talks about learning from failure. I think good lessons are inherent within each one.
Originally posted on TED Blog:
Allan Savory isn’t afraid to own up to the “greatest blunder” of his life. In his incredible talk from TED2013, Savory shares his life’s work managing grasslands in Africa, weaving a gripping tale out of what seems like an unlikely topic. [ted_talkteaser id=1683] In the 1950s, Savory helped create large national parks in Africa. But as people left this land to make way for animal reserves, Savory and his team noticed the land deteriorating and quickly turning into desert. After careful analysis, they determined that the problem was an over-abundance of elephants. And so in a politically heated move, they shot 40,000 elephants in order to save the grasslands.
Only, it didn’t work. Even with all these elephants killed, the grassland deterioration only got worse. In a powerful moment in the talk, Savory expresses his dismay.
“That was the saddest and greatest blunder of my life,” he said. “I will carry that to my grave.”