Below, you’ll find a video featuring a short interview with Derren Brown. It’s worth seeing for several reasons, one of them being that anything with Derren Brown in it is worth seeing. Yes, I’m a fan. Another reason I will get into after you’ve given the interview a look.
In case you don’t know who Derren Brown is: He’s an illusionist and mentalist, which means that he does magic tricks that make it seem like he can read minds or that he has other psychic abilities. Brown is to mentalism what David Copperfield is to illusionism, which is to say: He’s taken the art to it’s extremes. He also has a personality and wit that would make him entertaining even if he wasn’t also blowing your mind with his tricks.
Anyway, here’s the video I want you to see:
(If you can’t be bothered to watch the whole thing, jump in at 2:14 and watch until around 5:18.)
Okay, nothing special, you might think. Derren has certainly done more amazing things than that. There is one particular part that got my attention, though. During the demonstration that takes place between 2:14 and 5:18 in the video, Derren gets his prediction completely wrong on his first try. Well, maybe not completely wrong, but “Cigar” is a pretty far cry from “Constable”. Note, however, how Derren smoothly continues and saves the situation quite gracefully. Now, how the hell he could get the subject, who insisted he was thinking of an object all along, to somehow agree that he had actually thought about Milan at some point and what went on during this “save” could probably justify a blog-post all of it’s own, but I want to focus on something different. What really impresses me here is how Derren Brown’s mindset or attitude shows. He seems completely unphased by what is actually a clear and public failure.
What would you feel like, if you were demonstrating your one best skill on a TV show and it went completely wrong? I’m pretty sure I’d become nervous as hell, start fidgeting and my desperation to try to amend the situation would be very apparent. I would then realize that my nervousness and insecurity were showing and that would make it even worse.
I’m not saying I would faint, but it could be a close call.
Of all the amazing abilities in Derren Brown’s repertoire, his ability to cope with a setback is the one I would most like to emulate. (Closely followed by this, perhaps).
Sure we’ve all heard that failure is an essential part of success, that you can’t possibly succeed without failing fairly often along the way and that we learn from mistakes. But it still feels bad to fail, doesn’t it?
You know how a certain ad-campaign claims that ‘impossible is nothing’? Judging by the video above, it seems that Derren has completely assimilated the concept that failure is nothing. If anyone knows how to get there, please let me know.