Today is February 13 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “are you uncovering what is in order to get rid of what isn’t?” In 1922, Buckminster Fuller’s daughter Alexandra died of complications from polio just prior to her fourth birthday. Believing her death was the result of damp living conditions, Fuller helped launch Stockade Building Systems to provide affordable and efficient housing. In 1927, at age 32, Fuller lost his job as president of Stockade. The Fuller family had no savings, and the birth of their daughter Allegra in 1927 added to financial challenges. Fuller drank heavily and reflected upon the solution to his family's struggles on long walks around Chicago.
During the autumn of 1927, Fuller contemplated suicide, so that his family could benefit from life insurance. At this moment Fuller said he experienced a profound vision that would provide direction and purpose for his life when one day he heard a voice proclaim “From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.” Fuller stated that this experience led to a profound re-examination of his life. He ultimately chose to embark on "an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity."
Fuller would go on to publish over 30 books, develop numerous inventions, many architectural designs, and popularized the widely known geodesic dome. Fuller observed “We were deliberately designed to learn only by trial and error. We’re brought up, unfortunately, to think that nobody should make mistakes. Most children get de-geniused by the love and fear of their parents – that they might make a mistake. But all my advances were made by mistakes. You uncover what is when you get rid of what isn’t.”
When reflecting upon his discovery of the lightbulb Thomas Edison said "I haven't failed -- I've just found 10,000 that won't work." He simply made mistakes and in the process uncovered what was by getting rid of what wasn’t.
Are you making enough mistakes to uncover what is in order to get rid of what isn’t?