May 22, 2018
You get the picture. The overarching theme is always some version of this: Failing is actually a good thing because we learn from it and better ourselves as a result. It's good advice, but we've all heard it a million different times.
So, kudos to Vanessa Chan for finding a new way to describe failure during her commencement speech for the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering & Applied Science. Chan, the chair of materials science and engineering at Penn, explained during the speech earlier this month why failure is like farting (h/t, Technical.ly Philly):
Failing is like farting. It's natural. We all do it. We just don't like to admit it.
Like when my Ph.D defense was delayed because I missed a deadline, pothole, or when my factory messed up my order for QVC, crevice, or when I was forced out of a client situation that felt impossible to recover from, deep abyss.
Some of these I fell into because of my own stupidity. Some, I got shoved into because of corporate politics. While others, I leaped into to explore the unknown.
Regardless of the reason, all of you will fall into huge potholes — just like all of us.
It is true that, just as everyone will be unsuccessful at some life endeavors, everyone releases gas from their bottom — and most of us don't like to talk about either. You can watch Chan's entire speech below and request a transcript from her aptly-named website here.