Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Failure Club

This is a Failure Club and this is the story of three women who have each taken on a seemingly impossible goal to be accomplished in 2012.  For me, this is like a New Year's resolution on steroids. 

The idea of a failure club is for each participant to choose an amazing feat; perhaps a life goal or perhaps just something crazy that would be really, really cool to accomplish.  For example, start a band and record an album, or visit all 50 states.  Now, take that goal and condense the time you have to accomplish it down to one year.  Mix together a bunch of motivated friends who all have wacky goals, meet every two weeks to discuss progress and support each other, and there you have it: a failure club.

I was introduced to the Failure Club concept by Adam Mastrelli, an IBM employee who was determined to become a National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence.  He was connected to me by a friend I'd met during my stint in the IBM Corporate Service Corps, a Peace Corps-like experience in which I moved to Tanzania and volunteered for a month with the African Wildlife Foundation. It was an incredible experience, and I've been trying to find something just as worthwhile to do ever since.  I now work at National Geographic and was impressed by Adam's project, partly because it sounded like a great adventure and partly because by October he was already having regular email conversations with Louise Leaky, granddaughter of Louis and Mary Leaky.

I soon discovered that the point of a Failure Club was to fail, but fail spectacularly.  Given how lofty your goals are, you can't help but to go all-out and try to accomplish them in such a short amount of time.  It's not the destination, it's the journey.  Along the way you may learn some very important things about yourself and meet some incredible people.

And so, I gathered a very small group of good friends together to fail.  I think this is going to be an incredible year.

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