Mistakes and disadvantages

I am reading David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. It is really inspiring how he explains how what is perceived to be a disadvantage to some can actually be an advantage. Ever notice how many stories you hear of people immigrating with a couple bucks in their pockets and the shirt on their backs work hard and build successful businesses and lives. The disadvantage of necessity. Work hard or starve! Then on the other hand those that get it all handed to them can't seem to manage what their parents built for them. Strangely I have found that my entrepreneurial spirit soars when it has to and lays dormant when I have no goal. The goal often seems to center around making good on payments.
Carter Gillies put up a piece by Neil Gaiman on FB. I googled Neil and found his words really resonated with me.
I sent this piece of his to the group I am mentoring in wood firing for the Hamilton Potters Guild.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Neil Gaiman


Dennis Allen said…
There are so many mistakes I plan to make this year.
Vicki Hamilton said…
Oh, I love this! Eeeesh, making mistakes....don't want to do that, but without making mistakes, I find I just stay where I am, doing the same thing over and over. Time to risk that leap! Thanks T.
Cambria Pottery said…
Lucky gang to be in the mentorship program. I will take the cues and try to practice the words
Annied01 said…
I am using a brand new much-darker clay, a brand new set of glazes this year so I am willingly going to try to make mistakes and shake things up because I'm terrified that I will just end up putting white slip on the beautiful dark clay so I can go back to my comfort zone with the white clay and the glazes I had developed for it... I thank you for posting this quote of his... I will print it and put it up in the studio... Best wishes for 2015, xoxox, Anne
studio wendy said…
Whoa. Not so much thinking about pottery this morning, but in general, that so often, I tried to be perfect, but whatever I did, it was not good enough for my late mother... and now slowly learning that sometimes I do know what I'm doing, it is good enough, but best of all, know there is always room for better, for "glorious, amazing mistakes". Thanks Tony (and Neil Gaiman)!
GRASS said…
Good one, Dr T. I wholly concur with this sort of thinking. Keep on moving on!
Togeika said…
One of my two most treasured gifts is having the courage to make mistakes. I've often put my self in situations that are logically beyond my abilities. Sometimes I fail, but often, I rise to the occasion.
The other of the two is being able to meet great teachers.
Anonymous said…
Love it! I too will print this and put it in my studio!
Richard Aerni said…
Yowsa...listening to a Malcolm Gladwell in the studio as I try to get back up to speed. Hope your trip south went well, Mr. T.

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