Saturday, April 05, 2008

Choreographer Twyla Tharp on the usefulness of failure

In this month's Harvard Business Review, editor Diane Coutu interviews choreographer Twyla Tharp (free link), creator of avant-garde dances as well as the Broadway show "Movin' Out." Tharp mentions some important thoughts on failure.

If you do only what you know and do it very, very well, chances are you won't fail. You'll just stagnate, and your work will get less and less interesting, and that's failure by erosion. True failure is a mark of accomplishment in the sense that something new & different was tried. Ideally, the best way to fail is in private.... I have also sometimes failed in public, and that's very painful. But failing, even in this way, is not useless. It can force you to get yourself together and to produce something new.

From The Mistake Bank

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