5/2/08

The Geography of Bliss

I'm a third of the way through this book, 'The Geography of Bliss' by Eric Weiner . I love his writing which is chock full of his grumpiness and sardonic humor. He has a chapter on Iceland, particularly focusing for a bit on artists. It appears there are scads of artists in Iceland. Here is a quote:

How can it be that this flyspeck of a nation produces more artists and writers per capita than any other?

"It's because of failure,' says Larus (i'm deleting some so excuse my poor editing)

failure?

"Yes, failure doesn't carry a stigma in Iceland. In fact, in a way, we admire failures."

The author found this insight from psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who wrote in his book FLOW (and I'm quoting all of this from Eric), 'it is not the skills we actually have that determine how we feel but the ones we think we have'

I leave you with that to ponder. Go get the book from your local library, you wont be disappointed.

4 comments:

Daniel Sroka said...

A similar thing can be said about Silicon Valley. Failure is not a negative, but a mark of having attempted something, and thus is admired. At least in the business world.

Kim Hambric said...

I like the Icelandic view of failure. I have felt somewhat stigmatized lately.

I shall go forth and possibly fail. I will also attempt to locate this book.

BlueJude said...

Powerful stuff...very cool. Will have to take a peek at the book now! Happy Saturday STA!

Bob Johnson said...

Interesting concept, failure doesn't carry a stigma in Iceland, well that would certainly help people try more if they felt they wouldn't be hung out to dry if they failed at something.

Love the last statement, I would do better understanding it if I had some interpetation skils,lol.