Adam Savage Models How to Handle Failure

In the course of my career, I’ve helped lots of people learn at least the basics of bookkeeping and of accounting principles. I know that the best learners are those who keep an open mind and don’t give up at their first failure—or beat themselves up about their failures. Instead, they learn from them.

As much as I enjoyed my crash course in French-language bookkeeping earlier this month—and glad as I am that I performed the task well—the truth is that even people who seem like masters of their trades sometimes mess up.

That’s why I love this clip of Myth Busters alumn Adam Savage forgetting to put a lid on the magazine of the leaf-blower ping-pong gun he’s building. He lets his disappointment with himself wash through him, then puts his beginner’s mind back on and finishes the job. A true master.

Adam Savage looking abashed

Backtrack to 12:47 to see where he first realizes that he’ll need the lid that he later forgets.

Illustration of an analog numeric typewriter, superimposed on a paper chart of printed numbers.

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