Innovators, inventors, explorers and farmers dare to folly. They cannot predict the outcome of their experiments and explorations but know that in the process of moving forward and trying fresh ideas something bright and exciting may be learned. Innovation, creation, growth does not come from “playing it safe.”
Astro Teller, the director of a moonshot factory, a place where dreams and the unfathomable are tested, recently delivered a TED Talk explaining The Unexpected Benefit of Failure. Since the age of cave-dwellers man has witnessed the benefits of simply – trying – an idea. Where would we be today, if some optimist way back when had not “dared” to act the “fool” and rub two sticks together!
When we barge ahead, ignore the negative naysayers and catastrophe theorists – and light the fire of our imagining we both shoot for the moon and pioneer from a place of intuition and passion. That shooting and pioneering is leading life! Our work is to not give up until the invention has been realized – or the lessons have been learned.
Okay, in every endeavor we may not invent the next great thing, establish the business that brings in a hefty profit or create the work of art that garners mass appeal. But, if we can maintain an intensity of focus and a burning curiosity to problem-solve and acknowledge the lessons along the way, our actions are simply steps toward a next best thing – one that we are incapable of knowing today, but will become evident as we brush off our baffled ego and – move on.
This summer I had a dream.
I passionately wanted to memorialize a dear connection with a man I loved.
I wanted to grow a field of sunflowers – a field as big as a football field – a field of floral smiles turning toward the light.
I researched seed types, I discussed with local farmers how to prepare the field, how to fight weeds. I ordered seeds – and then I ordered some more seeds. The earth was churned. The seeds were planted. At first, the rain never seemed to come. Second observation: wicked weeds settled in where the sunflowers should have been.
And then the lesson of my summer experiment:
For the local deer population my dream was their dream. My first study in sunflower planting was their field of yummy fodder.
Fortunately, I also planted a single row of sunflowers closer to our house. Those four thriving sunflowers are an exquisite reminder to – not – give up on a dream.
This summer’s sunflower field is neither a folly nor a failure.
My “sunflower” field is a cause for celebration. It has sparked a fire within me to learn more lessons in sustainable farming.
What is your dream? Your vision? Your truth?
Churn. Seed. Water. Celebrate.
Your concept? Your endeavor? Give it some time, observe, re-evaluate, make change as needed.
Patience and persistence may be required.
From the roots of possibility unexpected blossoms will appear!