On my bucket list is giving a TED talk.  I could listen/watch Sir Ken Robinson or Jane McGonigal all day long!  These amazing people inspire me because of what they believe about the two areas that I am so interested in researching: education and gaming.  Having the opportunity to speak to such a broad audience about my combination of these two things would be…well would be Amazeballs!

For my TEDxOstateU talk, I chose the topic Failure is OK.  For three minutes I talked about Michael Jordan, Harry Truman, and Madigan Haselwood.  These three people exemplify attitudes about overcoming failure that are so important.  Jordan missed numerous game winning shots and Truman had a failed business.  Both men overcame these failures and there is no question that they made tremendous achievements.

Madigan still has a lifetime to earn her achievements, but she is learning that failure is ok.  Madigan likes to code and when she codes she very rarely gets it right the first time.  She puts her code together, she runs the debug program, she gets it wrong.  Madigan doesn’t just quit though, she tinkers, changing numbers or coding blocks, sometimes asking a question.  She tries again.  You see, she doesn’t understand that failing is bad and it’s a lesson that many adults need to learn.

I didn’t make the final round for my TEDx talk – guess what?  That makes me a big, fat failure!  Guess what else?  It gave me the opportunity to reach for a dream.  I had such a range of emotions that day.  I had butterflies, headaches, nervous hands, my mind kept refining what I wanted to say.  I had the opportunity to listen to some absolutely brilliant ideas and share mine.  It didn’t work out this time and I am disappointed, this is a dream.  I WOULD DO IT ALL AGAIN!!!

Reaching for a dream is exciting!  I shared with my educator colleagues what I was attempting to do and they gave me so much encouragement!  They tweeted good luck, they face-booked positive messages, they gave me even more courage.  I could feel them all with me and that made such a huge impact.

In the end, I didn’t make the cut.  Disappointed?  Yes.  Life over? NO WAY!  Failing is ok – learn, grow, get better.  I will try out again if I have the opportunity.  Why?  Because not doing so….well….it would be failure.

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