What if we framed the learning process with no concern for failures? How much more could we learn along the way to an end goal?
Well, a former NASA engineer and current YouTube star, Mark Rober, uses a classic video game to highlight how we might transform learning for every generation and culture. He calls it “The Super Mario Effect.”
The Super Mario Effect is simply stated as, “Focusing on the Princess and not the pits, to stick with a task and learn more.” Meaning (if you aren’t well versed in the game) that if we keep our focus on the end goal (saving the Princess) instead of the traps and pits that force us to try again (the challenges that keep us from getting to the next level), then we’ll be more successful.
We know what you are thinking… another motivational speaker telling you something along the lines of “never give up” and that “determination is key,” but this goes way beyond those tired sayings.
Mark Rober has thought of a new way to help us frame the learning process that removes all the shame and multiplies the results. He’s a very funny and entertaining speaker, so sit back and enjoy this. You can count on a 15-minute smile and maybe a big transformation. (Oh, and Mark looks like he’d be the coolest uncle one could imagine! You’ll soon see what I mean. )
Here’s Mark on the TED stage to give us a better idea of what The Super Mario Effect offers us all:
Tricking the Mind
Mark’s concept of learning new things is fascinating! It seems to boil down to embracing the excitement of experimentation and taking doubt completely off the table: treating every new adventure in learning like a video game. To ignore failures and complete the task at hand, no matter how minuscule.
Need a visual to keep front-of-mind? Remember this and keep a sense of humor through your next struggle. I found this little diagram all over the web. It really seems to hit home for many people!
Thought Leaders are Pointing the Way!
And there are masters among us who seem to be completely missing the fear of failure. In fact, our entire category of articles about Thought Leaders can introduce you to dozens of people who seem to have no fear of failure whatsoever. Here are a couple of my favorite articles about such amazing people:
And if you just can’t imagine yourself gleefully taking the kinds of social risk we are encouraging, here are two articles containing TED Talks that can transform your life.
And where would we be without people who seem to clamber happily through “pit ridden” landscapes in the quest for innovation?
Here’s a video of one of our favorite TED speakers, Manu Prakash, with our new friend, Mark Rober, looking into Prakash’s work on the $0.50 paper microscope and the $0.18 centrifuge that’s helping to save lives. Just think how many failures Manu must have learned from in order to develop this amazing, life-saving device!
We all can aspire for something better.
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- “The Super Mario Effect – Tricking Your Brain into Learning More | Mark Rober | TEDxPenn.” YouTube, TEDx Talks, 31 May 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vJRopau0g0. ↩
- “How to Save 51 Billion Lives for 68 Cents with Simple Engineering.” YouTube, Mark Rober, 15 Feb. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf-D1Upn-KU. ↩