Everywhere we go, we breath, eat and see the “giving up” of someone either direct and or indirect. All products made, there is a wish of someone to change it up a bit, for improvement. Many of us don’t tend to accept failure, which affects us all in different ways.
When it comes to failure and or giving up, some people cry until they can’t breath. Others start labeling themselves as useless, dumb, overthinkers, etc. Most people stress about the overall product, thus including grades, point of view of others, etc. The one thing we all share in common is guilt, and that is human.
Many of us tend to worry about disappointing our team, teachers, parents, others, but never worry about ourselves. We worry so much about others concerns that ours become as small as a our own living cells.
Recently, for our maker project, my group and I decided to build a mini maglev train. A maglev train is a train that levitates due to the magnetic field around produced from the magnets. Like everyone, we assume that everything will be easy. One piece of wood, a few magnets glued to the train (box) and the track, how hard could that be? Well, not at all easy.
When we first started, we thought we would glue the magnets in a pattern; north south, north south. Same for the box. When we first tested it out, the results were beyond disappointing. My heart broke, the rest of my group shattered. We continued our research and we tried only about 384683 different methods until I finally acknowledged the fact that it was impossible. After watching a few different videos from YouTube, I recommended using nitrogen. All you would have to do is dip the train in nitrogen and done. Zero to no stress, quick, easy, and just overall, smart. My group immediately rejected my idea. “No! That’s no fun!” was what I got yelled at. Whatever, right? We continued all kinds of methods and each method was just adding to my limit level.
After weeks of anger and stress, we finally found our long lost match. We were at a point in which neatness and extra glue, neatness to say, meant nothing. We placed in our magnets and it actually worked, until the train reached the end of track. We all just dropped everything and wanted to scream. We picked up where we had left off and continued, exhausted, but continued. After a few rearranges, we finally got our maglev train to work.
When we finally finished, I was just shocked. I never guessed we would actually finish. Towards the end, my group and I were starting to doubt that we would actually finish. We were thinking of backup plans to at least have something to present at the make-o-rama (maker faire).
After we realized that we weren’t dreaming and that our train was actually levitating, we kind of just took a deep breath. Finally. With our powerpoint completed and our explanation of what we had done, for the first time since we had started, we took things easy.
Frustration, anger, even a few tears, can lead to the most amazing things ever. Our maglev train did not turn out like we had first planned, but it was something. Yes, it was quite simple and small, but just seeing it levitate made me, us, all so happy. We all smiled and with our eye contact with one another, we knew we had made it.
This experience by far has taught me a lot. I am the person that once something fails the first time, I accept that the world suck and it’s time to give up. Because of that idea constantly on my mind, this project was not easy, but I am thankful that I had the group members I had because they pushed me past my limits. They made me mad half of the time, but the one thing they did not let me do, other than yelling, was giving up. They broke the idea that I had on my mind.
After all that, I now see everything differently. I no longer see everything as impossible, I see stuff as a puzzle with an eraser, puzzle and scissors. Sometimes you just have to get the scissors and cut pieces that need to be cut, get the pencil and eraser and adjust as you go, but nothing is impossible.