Creative education giant Sir Ken Robinson makes a poetic and persuasive argument that finding your talents — often hidden and undiscovered — through a concerted willingness to try and fail lead to a life worth living. And more: creative progress depends on individuals and teams making mistakes. This is how human culture develops.
Sir Ken Robinson is no stranger to the TED stage. His 2006 talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” is one of the most watched talks ever, with over 250 million viewers to date. Robinson is a worldwide educational leader with many ideas and practices that are applicable beyond the scope of education. His TEDxLiverpool talk — witty, wise, and full of inspiration — examines how discovering talents doesn’t happen without exploration and trial and error.Bring Your Talents out of Hiding by Trying and Trying Again
Most of us aren’t born knowing what our talents are. In fact, many talents remain undiscovered throughout childhood and adolescence. Robinson tells us that Paul McCartney’s music teacher didn’t think he had any musical talent. This same teacher didn’t recognize musical ability in George Harrison. He had half of the Beatles in his music program and missed it. “Seems like a bit of an oversight,” Robinson quips. In another part of the world, Elvis Presley didn’t make it into the glee club at his high school.
We don’t always know what we like and what we can do until we start trying new things. “You create your life according to the talents you discover or not,” Robinson says. “Too many people go through the whole of their lives in a state of anxiety, thinking, ‘well, I if I try it, it won’t work. Anyone who achieves anything in life is prepared to be wrong — to try it, and make a mistake.”
At Explo, we very consciously create a culture and build a community that supports risk-taking and discovery through trial and error. Giving students the freedom to try new things — lots of them — and a safe place to find out what they like and what they do well is the very foundation of our program. We learn alongside our students, and together celebrate wins, encourage lessons through losses, find our strengths, and ultimately discover joy through progress.