Tag Archives: NPR

Failure Is Another Word for Creativity

28 Feb

I am far from a “techie” (someone who is technologically proficient) but I was fascinated by an NPR story I heard recently entitled, “Failure:  The F word Silicon Valley Loves and Hates”.  The story focused upon entrepreneurs in the Tech field in Silicon Valley.  According to this report, failure is glorified in this Valley of technological start up companies.   Interviewees in this story said things like, “the fear of being a failure drives you.”.  One person noted, “Failure means you just haven’t gotten your success yet.”  Another reported that “failure is mandatory; it’s as pervasive as the weather”.

I was stunned by the optimism of these statements.  My husband and I consider ourselves entrepreneurs.  I think we must conceive of new business ideas every other day.  The process of conception (much like in the other kind of conception process) is the fun part– the brain storming process; the excitement of a new idea; the hope of making the idea an income producing one…

I’ve dreamed of making my Be Brave. Lose the Beige concept an income producing business.  I create art, write books/journals/blogs, and conduct Lady Boomer workshops and retreats on the subject.  Endeavors producing a sustainable source of income are such a point of validation.  Everyone around you affirms your idea is a success once you begin making money from it.  If not, it’s a dream, a silly notion, or worse yet, a failure.  Aside from the obvious drawbacks of failing to earn money from an endeavor consuming significant time and focus, there is the added burden of disappointing family members and friends.  That fear of humiliation is what drives entrepreneurs says Joe Kraus of Google Ventures.  “Threading that idea from the “vision” stage to the “execution” stage is a necessary step in the march to success.

I know what that feels like.  I turned 60 last year.  I can’t believe it.  I feel like I might run out of time at any moment without fully realizing by dreams (although it’s not from a lack of trying.)  I spend an inordinate amount of time writing, researching and sculpting.  I have often hidden these endeavors from my linear lawyer friends out of fear they may say something like, “Why are you wasting your time doing that?!”.  After all, there has not been any kind of a guarantee I’ll make money from all these efforts.  But creativity is funny.  It’s kind of like breathing.  I can’t fathom living without it.  So I loved hearing this story.  I found it encouraging; a virtual support group for creative people.  Remember- Thomas Edison was asked if he was frustrated at his lack of success after his 1800 attempts at inventing the light bulb.  “No”, he replied, “ I now know a 1000 things that won’t work.”

So, if you feel alone in your quest toward entrepreneurship, share you experience here.   We can commiserate.

Failure = Creativity
Failure = Creativity



Saga of the Cupcake vs. Macaroon No-Contest Contest

14 Apr

This post continues the saga of the cupcake vs. macaroon no-contest contest. As noted in a previous post, NPR (my favorite news source) featured an article called “Move over Cupcake: Make room for the Macaroon”. The article sites a post by Amanda McClements on her Metrocurean Food Blog saying the macaroon is in a trend war to become the next cupcake.

Be Brave, Lose the Beige has embarked upon a crusade to refute this contention. This series of posts will demonstrate differences between the clearly superior cupcake and the macaroon. As you will recall, the previous post focused upon the macaroon’s lack of substance compared to the complexity of the cupcake.

Difference number two: The cupcake is a venue for fun!. Can this be said of the lowly macaroon? I think the macaroon speaks for itself. Have you ever seen one transformed into a vegetable garden or even a pumpkin patch? I think not. But yes, I have seen cupcakes created in such configurations. Stay tuned for part 3 of the continuing saga of the Cupcake vs. Macaroon No-Contest Contest. (See image below of clay cupcake version of the Mad Hatter)

P.S. Please cast your vote in this contest in the comment section. Thanks!

The Cupcake vs. Macaroon No-Contest Contest

11 Apr

Listening to my beloved All things Considered I heard a story that made me pull off the road to listen (as is often the case with NPR stories). The title of the story was “Move over Cupcake: Make room for the Macaroon”. The article sites a post by Amanda McClements on her Metrocurean Food Blog saying the macaroon is in a trend war to become the next cupcake. “It was the jell-o mold in the ‘70s, frozen yogurt in the ‘80s, and “cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes” in the previous decade. Foodies predict the macaroon is this decade’s defining treat”.

Now really?! Macaroon versus cupcake? No contest. The macaroon should be relegated to the status of the jell-o mold and frozen yogurt. Who cares about either of those “desserts”, if you can even refer to them as dessert. This post represents my first salvo in the cupcake vs. macaroon skirmishes.  In this series, I will attempt to define (objectively of course) the obvious differences between the cupcake and the macaroon:

Difference Number one- The macaroon has no substance. It’s like biting into air. Because, let’s say it together, it has NO flour. The cupcake, on the other hand, is full of substance and flour. A review of the ingredients in the two items illustrates my point:

Macaroon: egg whites, sugar, coconut.  Cupcake: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs (whole egg), butter or shortening, milk, vanilla or chocolate, water.

The cupcake is obviously a more complex creation than the macaroon, thus more interesting and substantial. Stay tuned for part two of the cupcake vs. the macaroon contest….


Story Corp’s Poignant Story

9 Apr

 I heard a touching story this morning on NPR’s Story Corp series entitled, “A coal miner’s son remembers a hard dirty job”. This was particularly poignant in the midst of news about the thwarted rescue attempts in the West Virginia coal mine.

Resilience Training vs. Antidepressant Meds

18 Jan

I work with at-risk middle school aged students in an arts education program. I was really interested in an article broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition today entitled, “Emotional Training Helps Kids Fight Depression”. The article cites studies conducted by Jane Gilham of the Penn Resiliency Program at the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrating that negative thinking (calling yourself stupid) can lead to depression. The program has developed a curriculum aimed at teaching middle school aged students strategies to challenge such thought patterns. Such training, which was implemented at a school in West Harlem, Gilham argues, can be as powerful as taking antidepressant medicines