What does failure, Nintendo, and launching cars off massive trampolines all have in common? Find out today as we talk about the art and beauty of failing forward.

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Think back on a failure that you may have thought at the time was a pit or a "green turtle shell" that metaphorically killed you and set you back that you now recognize as a stepping stone that helped you fail forward into a better situation. And THEN share it with us on any of the social media platforms or comment on playtheory.org on this episode's post.

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LINKS From Show



[00:00:00]Neal: [00:00:00]    What does failure Nintendo in launching cars off a massive. Trampoline all have in common. Find out today on this very exciting episode of the happiness playbook. As we talk about the art and power of failing forward. Let's kick things off with our highlight reel, where we share some of the good things happening in the world.

[00:00:55] Dr. Omar, a teak originally from Pakistan founded the [00:01:00] Arkansas cancer clinic in 1991. He has always enjoyed treating his patients, but his clinic had to close back in February due to lack of staffing. There was $650,000 worth of debt owed by his patients. So Dr. A take attributed this buildup of overdue payments to his willingness to always treat a patient no matter what, as he began reaching out and contacting the patients in February, he realized that most of his patients were not able to afford the.

[00:01:35] Bills. They had incurred during the difficult times, brought on by the pandemic. He decided with his wife and family to forgive the $650,000 in debt outright. How amazing is that? I am so touched by this story and.  The effort that so many people are making in the communities they live in [00:02:00] to help people get through these hard times.

[00:02:02] Yes.

[00:02:02]  All right. It's time for coach Neil to give us a report on operation. Joy domination. Emotions are running high today because we have already passed our December numbers. Baby, we've got to keep this up. If we ever want to embarrass that Rogan feller with his silly little podcast over there on Spotify in a few months, I reckon that we'll have that Spotify exclusive deal 

[00:02:31] as good as ours, not only are the numbers, something to write home about 10, stop crying, go give me 20. I'm a little proud today as well. Cause we've got some star players shining their light on the field. First up, Rose molten Hodnett said. I just want to say that I love these principles. I love listening to the podcast and having them fresh in my mind, just this week, I've been [00:03:00] able to bring comfort to an uncle in prison by asking him to focus on gratitude.

[00:03:05] And I was able to accept them, build in a conversation with some distant relatives. Yeah. In a topic that could potentially be a stumbling block, but instead I sailed a ride over the part I disagreed with and steered the conversation to what I could agree on. It was great. Well, Rose, you are great. We think you are the cat's pajamas.

[00:03:25] Keep up the good work team. We are nearing and. Out of this world. Awesome tackler milestone, and we need your help. So keep sharing and tell us how you are helping us win the game of life and execute operation happiness domination. Tell next week, coach out.

[00:03:44]Oh, never good. So whether it's a test, a new job, a new relationship, or simply a goal that is pushing you outside your comfort zone. Failure is something we must all come to [00:04:00] terms with. But today I'm here to tell you that it is not the failure, but how we frame that failure that will make the difference in your life to start off.

[00:04:12] I would love to welcome my amazing guest Mark Rober to the show. Okay. So he's not actually really here. One day. I got to tell you it would be my absolute dream to have Mark Rober on the show. And if anyone listening to this right now has a connection, I will pay you in. Pure pineapples to message me those those connections and introduce me.

[00:04:41] I think Mark Rober is just the coolest guy. And before I, I man crushed too much, you should probably know who he is if you're not familiar. So Mark Rober is a YouTuber. He's an engineer and inventor. You might know him for his viral video, where he builds a glitter [00:05:00] bomb trap for package thieves that releases the finest, glitter and fart spray on the Woodby thieves.

[00:05:07] This video alone earns him legendary status. In my opinion, if you haven't seen this video, you've got to just stop, pause this right now. Go to the show notes and watch it. It's just amazing. And he does it every year. So actually this year was his third iteration of the glitter bomb. It's just amazing.

[00:05:26] Go check it out. And he is just one of the coolest guys on the internet. He's amazing. He spends months of his time engineering and designing these amazing projects and turning them into YouTube videos. But he really. Gets educational. He's entertaining. They're just amazing. If you haven't checked them out, you have got to go subscribe.

[00:05:49]He's up to like 16 million subscribers right now. So he's absolutely blowing up,

[00:05:54]but the message of Mark Rober that I really want to dive into today [00:06:00] is regarding a Ted talk that he gave. So. A few years ago when 50,000 of Mark robbers at the time, 3 million YouTube , subscribers participated in a basic coding challenge, that data all pointed to what  rober has dubbed the super Mario effect.

[00:06:23] The YouTube star in former NASA engineer describes how this data back to mindset for life. Gamification has stuck with him along his journey and how it impacts the way he helps or some would say tricks. His viewers on YouTube, into learning science, engineering, and design. He shares his thoughts about it in his Ted talk.

[00:06:46] And  he just touches on so many amazing things in the talk that are so applicable to our topic today. So let's go ahead and play a clip.

[00:06:56]When my son learned to walk, he didn't think about how dumb he might look.

[00:06:59] If he fell [00:07:00] down and this, his parents, we didn't punish him. If he wasn't successful either. The focus was always on the end goal. And we celebrated the successes with him as a result of constantly failing and trying and discovering new things. During that phase of our life, YT Clip 1 [00:07:15] we discover so many more new capabilities within ourselves, and it's not even close to any other time in our life,  

[00:07:23] Neal: [00:07:23] children, especially when they're learning to walk or doing lots of motor skills or just learning in general, there is no shame in failure and as parents and guardians and caretakers, the last thing we want to do is shame them or humiliate or make fun of them when they fail a child who's learning to walk is cheered on, is celebrated and.

[00:07:48] The frame of that failure, the perspective of the failure to that child is always on the goal. It's get back up and try again. And this is the beauty of this [00:08:00] perspective that we're talking about today. But what I really want to dive into is what Mark Rober, dubs the super Mario effect. So let's go ahead and play that clip and then react to it.

[00:08:12]Mark Rober: [00:08:12] 

[00:08:12] YT Clip Super mario effect [00:08:12] when super Mario brothers came out, my friends and I became obsessed. Like we wanted to get to the castle and rescue the beautiful princess peach from the evil Bowzer. We get to school and ask each other, like, dude, what level did you make it too? Did you pass the game? We never asked each other about details on all the different ways we might have died when it comes to games like this, no one ever picks up the controller for the first time.

[00:08:34] And then after jumping into a pit thinks I'm so ashamed, that was such a failure. And they never want to try again. Right. What really happens is they think, Oh, I've got to remember, there's a pit right there. So I think next time I'm going to come out with a little more speed. I'm going to jump a little bit later.

[00:08:47] The focusing obsession is about beating the game. Now how dumb you might look. If you get hit by a sliding green shell. And as a direct result of that attitude of learning from, but not being focused on the [00:09:00] failures, we got really good. And we learned a ton in a very short amount of time. We were the right side of this graph.

[00:09:06] This is what I call the super Mario effect, focusing on the princess and not the pits to stick with a task and to learn more. 

[00:09:14] Neal: [00:09:14] Now I grew up playing super Mario brothers and I'm sure there's a lot of you listening to the podcast right now that may have also played the game. And what he's sharing right here is so relatable for someone like myself who is familiar with these games because the goal. Is beating the game and I love how he says it's not how dumb you might feel from getting hit by a sliding green shill 

[00:09:41] it's about winning. It's not about focusing on the failure and the super Mario effect. The term that Mark Rober coined in this talk is defined as focusing on the princess and not the pits to stick with the task and learn more.

[00:09:58] Okay. When we [00:10:00] fall off the cliff, we say, when we're playing Mario, ah, man, that sucked, but what can we learn from that? Gamification. And especially when you apply this concept of reframing failure and focusing on the end goal, when we've applied that to life and we have a positive attitude, you never give up because it's not about the failure.

[00:10:23] The failure is just a stepping stone along the path as you progress forward and fail forward. When you frame a challenge. In the way we're describing you actually want to do it, just like the toddler who's learning to walk, wants to get back up and try again until they've mastered  waddling around on two legs.

[00:10:47] We too can reframe challenges and obstacles and setbacks in the same way. And instead, double down on our goal. To fail forward, but it's not [00:11:00] natural. As we grow older, we slowly start to give in to this perfectionism of society and culture where failure is viewed as a negative thing. And we've got to reframe it.

[00:11:12] We've got to change that mindset and perspective in order to experience.

[00:11:17]Something. I really love about Mark Rober. If he can't tell I'm a huge fan of his, but his, he actually embodies the super Mario effect in his life. If you've seen his YouTube channel again, which I can't recommend it enough, then you see this play out in every video he does. Whether he's making the world's largest Nerf gun, filling an entire pool with jello and jumping in it or creating the world's largest trampoline to bounce a full size car off of, he shows you the process and he shows you the failure and it is so cool [00:12:00] to see how. Once you've reframed failure and obstacles and setbacks in this way as stepping stones and not roadblocks, then that's when the magic happens and he certainly makes the magic happen.

[00:12:12] On his channel,

[00:12:13]He also mentions in his Ted talk, how we have done a major disservice to society and to our students in the public education system with how we have framed learning science. So let's listen to that clip real quick.

[00:12:29]So as a science, YouTube, or sometimes I feel people have framed the act of learning science in a negative way it's been taught poorly. So it feels scary to them. And my YT Clip [00:12:39] approach is to take the same physics lessons you might've hated and to try and sort of trick you into learning something through something cool, 

[00:12:48] Neal: [00:12:48] And I think he is absolutely right. We have taken the learning process and especially as we get older, we start to view [00:13:00] learning and especially science or math or these important things as such a. Prescriptive and lifeless process, but to really bring it to life and to really make learning, engaging, and growth and progress engaging, we have to learn how to fail forward.

[00:13:20] We have to reframe these setbacks and these failures as stepping stones. And to really move forward by reframing the learning process and focusing on the cool, amazing end goal. The fear of failure is taken off the table and it will embolden you and empower you to move forward. You will be excited to move forward.

[00:13:44]What I love most is how he ends his Ted talk. So he puts up this slide and you're going to see it because you're going to go watch this after the podcast. He has on the top. It says your plan and it's somebody on a pike, it's a little drawing, [00:14:00] right. And so it's somebody on a bike and it's just a flat, gradual inclined to a little flag.

[00:14:05] And then just below it, he has a drawing called reality. And it's way zoomed out, you see a little guy on a bike, but then there's immediately a pit of rocks and then a bridge and then another deep pit full of water. And then there's, clouds and snow. And then finally, after one last, really steep dip, it goes up to the flag and he says, that's what reality is.

[00:14:28] Like, we always plan for a gradual easy flat terrain, but then we're given all of these obstacles and curve balls in life, and we've all experienced this. So let's listen to see what he has to say about this part.

[00:14:43]This is so true. But often in life, we tell ourselves that the top version is what we want. That's what we expect. But then something happens. Maybe it's a really bad grade on a test or meeting with a client that goes horribly wrong. Maybe it's a bad breakup. Maybe we miss a wide open shot, some [00:15:00] kind of green shell hits you.

[00:15:02] And so at that first setback or sign of failure, doubt creeps in and we tell ourselves we're not good enough. We're not smart enough. And yet if the bottom rectangle here is a game where now your bikes crash and you have to get your bike across to the flag, it's not, Oh, I hit these rocks. I'm just going to leave my bike here.

[00:15:18] I'm not good enough. And you quit and walk away. You see that flag to the right. And you're like, nah, like what did I just learn? You're like, okay, next time. If you're going to come out with more speed and I'm going to, I'm going to lift the front of my bike up. You want to try it again? You're immediately excited to go forward again.

[00:15:32] We sort of tell ourselves we want our life's challenges to look like the top one, but that's boring. If that were a real video game or a book or movie that went out to the market, it would be a total failure. Nobody would buy it. Where's the risk and the reward. Where's the challenge. There's no feeling of satisfaction.

[00:15:49] The bottom picture is real life and that's not a bug. That's a feature. Think about anything that means anything to you in life. Whether it's a degree, a relationship with a [00:16:00] friend or someone in your family, maybe professional accomplishment. I can guarantee you, it came from something that looks like the bottom and not the top feeling and feeling and feeling and eventually succeeding to the point that it now holds value.

[00:16:15] Just like the most meaningful high fives of my adolescents were those. When I said, dude, I finally beat Bowzer last night. 

[00:16:23] Neal: [00:16:23] my man. Mark is spit in so much truth here because by removing the obstacles and the dips and the rain clouds that makes life dull. And gray and boring. It is in the contrast and in the failing and failing and failing and eventually succeeding as he points out that gives us value and meaning in our lives.

[00:16:49]A lot of the successes in life come down to the super Mario effect. Great triumph is always preceded by great [00:17:00] challenges. And as we learn and practice that skill of happiness of letting go of that perfectionism and playing the game of life or super Mario brothers. We will then experience the abundance that life has to offer us as we leave that comfort zone and really go for it by applying the super Mario effect to your life and the inevitable challenges that you will face, you can fail forward into greatness and happiness.

[00:17:30] Just like no one would buy a super Mario game that didn't have any goombas 

[00:17:35] or green shells or Bowser's or pits, our life would also be dull and boring without these obstacles and without these opportunities to learn. 

[00:17:47] So remember, let's focus on the princess and not the pits. That is how you're going to learn how to accelerate your growth exponentially. [00:18:00]

[00:18:00]For this week's pro tip. I want you to think back on a failure that you may have thought at the time was a pit or a green turtle shell that, that killed you and set you back. But that in hindsight, you now recognize as a stepping stone. That helps you fail forward into a better situation. And I want you to share it with us on any of the social media platforms or comment on playtheory.org on this episodes post.

[00:18:33]As always, we want to hear from you. So if you have a story, an idea, or an idea for a guest like Mark Rober or feedback, head over to play theory.org and send us a note on the contact page. If we've benefited your life in any way, we hope you'll look outward and send us some love. So please leave that five star review on iTunes.

[00:18:57] Give us a follow on Spotify, share the [00:19:00] podcast, do your part. We're building a community of positivity, promoters, and want you to be a part of it. So head over to the Facebook page and join the conversation.

[00:19:10]Thank you so much for joining me today, as we explored the super Mario effect and how we can fail forward  into our best life. I know that as we get better at practicing, let go and play and failing forward and reframing those. Failures as stepping stones and progress and playing the game of life that we are going to experience abundance and happiness at levels.

[00:19:39] You could not imagine

[00:19:41]practice happiness this week and never forget that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport catching next week.

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