Embarrassment and Learning

Next time something irks you, step back and look at it in a different way. Next time someone tries to make you feel like you messed up, instead of defending yourself, stop and wonder – well, what if I did mess up? What if that is a possibility?

A scientist, or, perhaps, a scientist without special interest in proving one hypothesis over another, should actually be intrigued by mistakes. If you are going for a grade or a grant, though, it can be disappointing to fail. But if you are just a child, experiencing gravity or entropy or chaos, it can be pretty fascinating.

Freud pointed to embarrassing things as the beginning of the solution. If someone could just fess up to something embarrassing, it might help.

Don’t let beingĀ embarrassed about something stop you from learning that thing.