Making the Most of Accidents

Accidents happen. It’s an inevitability of life. What it comes down to though, is how we respond when things don’t exactly go our way. According to Aristotle “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” While you may not have realized it, those Post-It notes that you’ve been using since this week’s Crazy Commons were actually the result of one person’s “failures.” Spencer Silver attempted to create a stronger adhesive than was currently available, but the result he accidently stumbled upon was the easily removable glue that’s found on all those useful notes today.

Post-Its aren’t the only innovation to spawn from accidents. The inventions range from the entertaining (yet incredibly useless) Slinky to the antibiotic Penicillin, which is credited with saving millions of lives. Some other examples include:

  • Microwaves
  • Chocolate Chip cookies
  • Pace makers
  • Potato chips
  • Velcro
  • Cornflakes

So instead of feeling deflated the next time an idea or project doesn’t match your initial vision, rejoice because you have an opportunity to turn your accident or failure into something worthy of joining the list above.

– Stephen