Off in the north with no computer access, I saved this as an email to myself. Today, opening it, I found the very message I needed to hear. It is a time for revisioning the circumstances of life. Written December 31, 2014
Failure. Not measuring up to expectations. How often labels create the stooped shoulders and flagging spirit as good intentions go wrong. The spark inside seems doomed to flicker out. I am not what they need. I do not have what it takes.
But wait! You needn’t read many stories about inventions to realize that just such a state of disappointed lack of success is often the gateway to new breakthroughs. This morning I read of one such discovery in a collection of music trivia.
It was the 1970’s. Mono recordings in portable tape recorders didn’t meet the grade so a Sony team put time and effort into shrinking speaker parts to put in a pocket size case. They could fit in the playback and speakers but not the recording parts. The time and money seemed wasted. The prototype was an expensive failure.
Except, the quality of sound was good. The Sony team kept the failed product around to listen to music as they worked.
It took a quirky, creative visionary to see the potential of what had been viewed a failure. By roaming the building Morita Ibuka knew what was occurring beyond the narrow scope of a single project. To Morita, a tiny player when paired with lightweight headphones had potential. But who wanted a tape recorder that couldn’t record?
Skepticism met the idea at every turn. Limited thinking could have sunk the idea as labelling and target audiences all went through shifts of perspective.
You know the rest of the story. The idea of “slim, portable, personal music player” has gone through various configurations and has become a staple in our society.
Are there parts of your life that you have hidden away because structures around you have led you to believe your ideas or beliefs or philosophy or accomplishments don’t meet some pre established criteria?
Who knows? In the uniqueness of you there may be the invention that can impact the world in large or small ways. It may simply require some revisioning.
May God grant us the creative quirkiness to search for worth in what we have been led to believe are the failures in our lives.
Source material: “Now Hear This!”, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music, 2007 (the irony of a source like this for the article is fully intended but information about inventions can be found in numerous publications)