What To Do When You Fail

Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz

A lot of smart, creative people talk about failure in the creative process, so I thought I should finally tackle it myself. Obviously, I’ve never failed at anything before, so this advice is entirely hypothetical. I assume that failure feels pretty awful. I can imagine feeling not good enough, or worthless, maybe even feeling like I should just give up. I can picture myself throwing away my hard work, crumpling up paper or erasing files in a (minor) fit of rage. I’m not the yelling type, but I can almost see myself writing the world’s most passive-aggressive email. I mean, if I had failed at something. Which I never have.

“Failing” as a badge of honor doesn’t make sense to me. There’s no need to polish this turd? Failing feels sucky. But failure can also bring so much to learn about ourselves, our work and our presentation. Success is about so much more than just talent or the merit of our ideas. Timing is everything. Connecting with the right person matters. So you take failure in stride, strip as much good from the experience as you can, and do your best not to let the gut emotional reaction drag you down. –Adam J. Kurtz


Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz
Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz
Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz
Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz
Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz
Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz
Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz
Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz
Design*Sponge – What To Do When You Fail – Adam J. Kurtz

 


 

adamjkurtz-pickmeupAdvice is a tricky thing to give, because even “the experts” (and I’m definitely not one) don’t know you personally. You are your own expert, and the advice you give to others is often exactly what you need to hear yourself. My new journal PICK ME UP: A Pep Talk For Now & Later is the guide you’ll write yourself to get through the dark parts.

 


 

Adam J. KurtzAdam J. Kurtz (better known as ADAMJK) is an artist and author of 1 Page at a Time & Pick Me Up. His dark (but optimistic) humor comes to life in an offbeat line of gifts and small trinkets. Follow him at @ADAMJK or in real life (he lives in Brooklyn because of course he does).

 

 

 

  1. Lauran says:

    Love everything you do, Adam! Thanks for this! I’m really a believer in “things happen for a reason”, so I try to tell myself this when I fail or things don’t go as I had planned.

  2. eimear says:

    in the words of Beckett……fail better

  3. Ellen Anderman says:

    I wish I had a print out of this list and these expansions of meaning. Thank you. I’ve pre-ordered your new book and look forward to working with it (and you, in spirit!

  4. Mary B. says:

    If we live long enough we will fail at something. We must keep putting one foot in front of another and push on . . .

  5. Kiki says:

    Love this Adam – Thank You – made me smile too and that MUST be good… ;)

    When I fail, I tell myself to be content with being myself – as everybody else is already taken. I think Shakespeare put it in better words but then, I’m myself…

  6. Eva Ellie says:

    This is so great and needed right now! Sometimes this seems like a constant battle, but I also believe things happen for a reason and we can learn not from failing. It will make us stronger and maybe more prepared for similar situations later on.

  7. Ammie says:

    I love these tips, encouraging me to keep move on. : )

  8. Adam Thompsan says:

    Great tips, Adam! I alway try to see the growing possibilities in my failures. They are my life lessons. For example, I had some failures because of my personal planning system. I missed upcoming events and had many conflicts planning my day in both paper planner and digital calendar. This pushed me for the search of the new planning approach to have all my needs covered. I found it at http://kck.st/2dLmsIU. Innovative and exactly what I want. I’m still intrigued waiting for my new paper planner which links directly to the digital calendar. The main point – never ever give up!

  9. jane says:

    As someone going through dealing with failure at the moment, it’s a little annoying for the author to obviously, never failed at anything ever. Whether or not that is true or was just trying to be funny, it just rubbed me the wrong way.

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