Ask Adam Savage: Managing Failure as a Maker

Publisert 20. mai. 2021
How does Adam get past Imposter Syndrome? Has he ever been so unhappy with a project he immediately started it over again? How does Adam get back into the right head space after a build error? In this excerpt from our April 20 live stream, Adam answers questions from Tested members C2 Lawson, Emma Gibbs and Kev Wheeler relating to failure. Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, such as asking Adam a question:

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  • Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, such as asking Adam a question:

    • Hi Adam

    • Why is it adam, that the older you get. Stupidity arises and incompetence is the only thing that is left. How is it that someone can work for almost an entire career and still be as competent as a 3rd year apprentice . People don't always get the training others do. Perhaps its just me but, im in a league of my own, and i dont know how to deal with it. When you're the best, you have no one to look up to. When you're the best , no one can help you When you're the best. It appears that everyone else (not as smart or confident or what ever! Idk .... i dont know how to even end that sentence. It maybe lonely at the top. But its a bitch at the bottom. Brain over braun

  • "i bet whoever it happened to is f*** terrified to tell me about it" and then him laughing was just so good

  • Whoever dropped The Samaritan: [Absolutely terrified] Adam: "It's free weathering!"

  • Thank you so, so, so much for this video. I really needed to hear all of this. Thank you.

  • Great video as always, Many Thanks.

  • I improved like 90% in 3 years after I made it my number1 goal with a really strong intent to improve

  • I wouldn't be surprised if Adam has already read it, but 'Zen & the Art of Motorcylces' is definitely a good book for what he was talking about throughout this segment. Particularly the bits about 'gumption traps'. It's a book of philosophy written by someone who is mechanically inclined, preferring to tinker and to work with their hands on a problem. It's a very, very good book

  • "This too shall pass" - Persian adage

  • I would discribe it as "sometimes finished projects retroactively become prototypes".

  • You only fail when you quit There are lots of educational experiences And there are definite wins to

  • Adam truly is the perfect example of “success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” - Winston Churchill

  • 🆃🅷🅴 🅼🅾🆂🆃 🆃🆁🆄🆂🅴🅳 🅿🅾🆁🅽 🆂🅸🆃🅴 🅵🅾🆁 🆈🅾🆄 💝 𝐅𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐇𝐃 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐭 🅽🆄🅳🅴 𝐕𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐨 !💖🖤❤️今後は気をライブ配信の再編ありがとうです!この日のライブ配信は、かならりやばかったですね!1万人を超える人が見ていたもん(笑)やっぱり人参最高!まさかのカメラ切り忘れでやら1かしたのもドキドキでした,. 💖🖤在整個人類歷史上,強者,富人和具有狡猾特質的人捕食部落,氏族,城鎮,城市和鄉村中的弱者,無`'守和貧窮成員。然而,人類的生存意願迫使那些被拒絕,被剝奪或摧毀的基本需求的人們找到了一種生活方式,並繼續將其DNA融入不斷發展的人類社會。. 說到食物,不要以為那些被拒絕的人只吃垃圾。相反,他們學會了在被忽視的肉類和蔬菜中尋找營養。他們學會了清潔,切塊,調味和慢燉慢燉的野菜和肉類,在食品市場上被忽略的部分家用蔬菜和肉類,並且學會了使用芳香的木煙(如山核桃,山核桃和豆科灌木 來調味g食物煮的時候,

  • 🆃🅷🅴 🅼🅾🆂🆃 🆃🆁🆄🆂🅴🅳 🅿🅾🆁🅽 🆂🅸🆃🅴 🅵🅾🆁 🆈🅾🆄 💝 𝐅𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐇𝐃 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐭 🅽🆄🅳🅴 𝐕𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐨 !💖🖤❤️今後は気をライブ配信の再編ありがとうです!この日のライブ配信は、かならりやばかったですね!1万人を超える人が見ていたもん(笑)やっぱり人参最高!まさかのカメラ切り忘れでやら1かしたのもドキドキでした,. 💖🖤在整個人類歷史上,強者,富人和具有狡猾特質的人捕食部落,氏族,城鎮,城市和鄉村中的弱者,無`'守和貧窮成員。然而,人類的生存意願迫使那些被拒絕,被剝奪或摧毀的基本需求的人們找到了一種生活方式,並繼續將其DNA融入不斷發展的人類社會。. 說到食物,不要以為那些被拒絕的人只吃垃圾。相反,他們學會了在被忽視的肉類和蔬菜中尋找營養。他們學會了清潔,切塊,調味和慢燉慢燉的野菜和肉類,在食品市場上被忽略的部分家用蔬菜和肉類,並且學會了使用芳香的木煙(如山核桃,山核桃和豆科灌木 來調味g食物煮的時候,

  • Thank you for this video. I'm a musician with mood swings and my anger gets the best of me a lot. It's very validating to hear you talk about these things, as well as dealing with failure. It's something that really stops me in my tracks and takes a while to get myself out of.

  • I’m getting really really irritated at failing in life.

  • Well now when I'm frustrated over something random I'm going to tell the wind to go to hell

  • Awesome vid thanks for making it.

  • Adam saying "Just a minute..." and returning with a giant gun was hilarious.

  • Regarding you saying to not feed intense emotion: sleeping on it.

  • There is no failure as a maker just a learning experience of how not to do something.

  • This is awesome content. Thank you so much!!

  • Wow did I need this today. I'm an amateur knife maker and I do bone and wood carving (this started from being a viking reenacter) and has grown into a tiny tiny side business. I just messed up a knife build and had to start over. It had me questioning whether or not I should continue. I will and thank you so much.

  • what do you think abaout the tv show Making it where people make things under time pressure? These guys are multi-skilled and very talented..

  • Adam is WAY more chill about his gun getting broken than I would be.

  • Thanks for this

  • i would gather the "crew" infront of the gun and just stare silently for 15 minutes just to see who sweats most *muahahahaha*

  • I remember being blown away that people actually thought the original video was real lol

  • I love that you brought this up 💜 I constantly struggle with if I have a right to be a maker on social media too, but all of the comments that tell me they support my work help me through it. A circle of friends and I started taking screen shots of all the nice and supportive comments on our platforms so we can look back on them when any of us are having a bad day. Doing this helps tremendously, because we’re reminded that we have people who want to see us brush ourselves off and try again. It’s so much better to learn from mistakes rather than take them so hard.

  • Wish I was a youngen playing pool in Adam's shop

  • The biggest issue I have with failure is not walking away when I should. This is a huge problem for me especially with paint jobs. If I make a mistake airbrushing or painting something I will screw around with that wet paint even though I know I shouldn't and screw it up x10 worse then if I had let it dry first. The other day I sprayed a Boba Fett helmet and got a huge sag in the paint, I didn't touch it and when I went back after it dried it was only a 5 minute fix. So I guess I'm getting better at dealing with failure.

  • This was very inspirational, especially the last part. I really need to learn how to stop feeding my negative emotions and make them fizzle out. Thank you, Adam! ❤️

  • I feel the exact same way with the right headspace thing

  • Adam's reaction to the broken Samaritan is hilarious

  • Again?

  • 6:20 "It's like I just don't feed the wolf in my head that's angry about the situation" - words to live by.

  • I have a better strategy to deal with these situations: I abandon the task, eventually give up my hopes and goals, swallow the anger and develop a deep anxiety and dissatisfaction. Works like a charm! 💯

    • It's ok to give yourself a break. Maybe you'll feel better about it tomorrow. And Adam's advice to talk about it is spot on.

  • I’m a writer, and I really enjoy this positivity, advice and everything about this. Translates to other mediums, not just physical making.

  • 2:41 That was so lovely, Adam brings joy and/or sincere caring to so many areas of life

  • Yet another asking how you deal with failure. What are you guys trying to say?

  • There are some people who don't suffer from imposter syndrome. Some of these people are the scariest incompetents I've ever met. The fact that they *don't* assess themselves and second think their actions makes them blunder on ahead in dangerous actions when the rest of us would have stopped to consider. There is a happy medium between being super self critical and being totally un-self aware.

  • This is such a fantastic 'episode' for a myriad of reasons. Thanks for sharing your thoughts - beneficial to any creative process, or for that matter, just life in general.

  • Bro.. you need a holiday my man. You're being a bit harsh on yourself, and to some extent.. you're fans..

  • Adam, I watched one of your tool tips and it inspired me to re-evaluate a dilema that I have had with firewood, of all things. I have some firewood pieces waiting on hold because of a dislocated hand (healing slowly but steadily). The issue is the limbs need to be cut down to size and stacked, but my two handed normal solutions are just out of the question and I didn't have a one handed solution. I looked at a few more tool options and found a one handed solution. In a few hours I will be testing out my new tool and I even should be able to solve some dead bushes that I was putting off resolving until I could use my fabulous Fiskars tree limb loppers. Any time I need inspiration, you always have a positive word. Thanks.

  • Adam, you are Legend! You will always be remembered. You’re a icon now. That’s your legacy.

  • Maker or not, your outlook is spot on. 👍

  • I knew a Russian ballet choreographer who’s Go to phrase when things were going off the rails...”F***k it! We do it anyways! Always a good way to go at any crossroads.

  • And not being intimidated whilst making the next step

  • Once he turns off the camera, he dons the ironman suit, fires up the arc reactor and goes after the SOB who broke his Samaritan.

  • A nice quote I got from an audiobook: "When you aren't sure what to do, either do what is right or do what is in front of you, but not necessarily what is right in front of you." It seems like a nice way to try and change your headspace when you're stuck.

  • Talk about rich white guy problems.

  • I feel like I can’t help but begin to view Adam as some sort to maker/engineer god, which makes stuff like this all the more encouraging and uplifting. 😊 The humility, openness, and honesty that he has toward sharing his work and his process are ridiculously inspiring!

  • I absolutely love your reaction when you realized someone messed up the Samaritan. Such a great attitude to have about things, Adam. I can't say I'd be as calm or cool as you at least seem to be, but will keep this in mind next time something like that happens to me. Thanks!

  • What is that thing that looks like Kenny in the background left? :D

  • There is no such thing as failure (well, I mean there is under specific circumstances) There is only somthing that doesnt work yet. My modification to "I didnt fail 1000 times, i just found 1000 solutions that dont work" Thomas Edison. He improved where stopped, what people called a finnished product, he developed an understanding, and used the understanding to improve on somone elses work.

  • We just want a follow up video on tracking down and parenting the guilty party

  • All I can say is thank you because I needed to see this tooday

  • I paused the video, as Adam stepped away from the camera. When i returned to see no one, I thought i was in harry potter, looking at the Dumbledore frog card. :D

  • Things I've noticed about being triggered is that the emotions tend to run in a predictable, familiar pattern. I started calling them tapes. (I suppose we can just call them videos now.) So, when I notice that a familiar "video" is running in my head it makes it easier to deal with. It's just "Oh, the video is running again". When I do that something that normally takes hours to pass usually goes away in maybe half an hour.

  • “I bet whoever had it happen to them is freaking terrified to tell me HAHAHAHA” Amazing

  • Man, can we get a few questions about managing success?

  • Damn dude, yet again you showed me something I knew that I didn't know I knew. Thanks Adam.

  • Before I knew the term "imposter syndrome" existed, I would often say - jokingly on the outside, far too honestly on the inside - that when I'm shooting concert photos, my goal was always to get shots that were good enough to make sure no one realized they made a mistake in letting me in with a photo pass.

  • Just saying thanks. I need this :)

  • Dear Adam, on behalf of everyone, please, please, PLEASE don’t ever start cutting out the, “Wait right there, Let me go get something!” bits. It’s not an Adam Savage Tested video unless we’re told to wait while you run off to grab something. =)

  • Wow the smile on his face that some young person dropped the big gun, he's going to have fun with that person, who's shaking in his boots in fear on how to tell Adam I broke it

  • Hi everybody

  • I love that you’re using proper trigger discipline with that ridiculous thing.

  • I would love to see a video with Adam and Paul Sun-hyung Lee talking about Starwars and cosplay.

  • I always think it's Kenny from South Park standing behind him to the left.

    • Now that you mentioned it. I can't unsee it either

  • “The next step is the only important step” would make a great sticker or mini poster. I’d keep one at my workbench AND one at my desk.

  • Yep someone tried to twirl the heavy prop gun.

  • Hmmm 🤔 Now I wonder the extent of the damage. Very interesting indeed.

  • I feel this way about my racecars. I try to make the next one a little bit better and faster.

  • Failures are either learning experience or lost chances

  • beautiful piece about a master's inside world

  • Something I LOVE! Adam grabs a prop gun, that we all know is a prop gun. It has a broken hammer, fake bullets, and made out of aluminum. WE ALL KNOW IT CANNOT FIRE!!! Yet he STILL does not point at the camera and has complete control over its line of sight. Yes he got a little hand wavy with it to demonstrate that it was still a fake fire arm, but still he made a conscious effort to lay it down in a manner deliberately not interfering with the line of sight to the camera. All those years of myth buster training paid off with complete respect of fire arms, to the point of respecting a fire arm shaped object. Much respect Adam.

    • Adam is the ONLY one of the Mythbusters that I never saw commit a Four Rules violation during the run of the show.

  • 2:25 I couldn't help but laugh. Who can't relate to this? LOL

  • What a great way to spend 8.26 (repeating) minutes. Thank you.

  • I would mentally cease to exist if I broke Adam’s Samaritan 😂

  • Appropriate given 3 of my plans have failed to execute as planned in the past 24 hours.

  • The hammer on the Samaritan got biffed. You took it like a champ. Hey, the car is still in the garage, and no one got maimed or worse. Right? Better man than me sir.

  • Good one, Adam. Now go destroy your teenagers, please.

  • I, too, laugh at the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune when I can take arms that big and by opposing end them. 😀

  • Teenagers messed with your greatest experience, broke it, hid it, and were hoping you wouldn't notice. Your reaction: "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha..." Me: VERY glad I don't have teenagers.

    • @Thomas Michaels Not buying that for a second. Weathering and wear & tear through use add character. Not kids dropping and breaking it.

    • Adam usually has a very positive outlook on those things. Rather than be mad it's broken, he thinks the 'damage' just adds character to the prop. Can't promise you he feels the same way about this particular case, but I'm imagining he does!

    • @Albert Mars He certainly doesn't show it in any way.

    • @Albert Mars Are you imagining how that whole thing happened? How sonny boy and his buddies gathered around, opened up case, and started passing it around? How one of the kids dropped it while acting out some scene from the movie? The stupid argument that happened thereafter? Can you see this in your mind? (I am so unbelievably glad I got snipped.)

    • Trust me hes livid inside lol

  • 6:00 and onward helped me remember (for the 500th time) why I watch these as often and as soon as possible. So often, they include something I just needed to hear. Thanks Adam, for being yourself, truly.

  • Being so stuck in my own headspace for too long... it is so nice to have you talk to me about so much of what I haven't been able to verbalize or even put rational thinking too.... I thank you for sharing and taking me on the journey. I appreciate your kindness and your confidence to share your thoughts and experiences. It helps so much more than I can Express. Thank you

  • Laughing when finding one of your most treasured possessions damaged, understanding the terror that person must have felt, and shrugging it off as something to fix. I think we all strive to do but have so rarely seen done. Thank you.

  • I think Your work on cyborgs is AMAZING. I mean... You DID build Jamie. (He's SO life-like) lol 😉

  • It isn't a failure, it's is an iteration. My problem is when someone is considering buying a piece they want to hear from the artist how awesome it is and all I can think of is how I'll make the next one better.

  • I needed this after a project kicked my butt today.

  • While talking about "screwing up" he discoverers someone else screwed up and broke a pride and joy, and he chuckles and thinks about how someone must be feeling. That was something unexpected, and a a breath of fresh air.

    • Just some organic weathering adding to the story lol

    • That was a truly serendipitous moment. You could not have scripted something so perfectly timed.

    • He's probably happy that he has an excuse to work on the gun again lol

  • The best failures are achievements that are only recognizable as failures after you’ve improved upon them with a subsequent attempt. I’m trying to relabel my “failures,” as “tuition,” and its been fun. Thank you for the video!

  • My Hero is Savage.

  • I don't know that everyone has experienced imposter syndrome. There's a lot of entirely unearned confidence out there. Just look at former-President Dunning-Kruger.

    • Most excellent reference. I may borrow that moniker in the future. 😀

  • Neil Gaiman, the wonderful author, wrote this about Imposter Syndrome: Some years ago, I was lucky enough invited to a gathering of great and good people: artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things. And I felt that at any moment they would realise that I didn’t qualify to be there, among these people who had really done things. On my second or third night there, I was standing at the back of the hall, while a musical entertainment happened, and I started talking to a very nice, polite, elderly gentleman about several things, including our shared first name*. And then he pointed to the hall of people, and said words to the effect of, “I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.” And I said, “Yes. But you were the first man on the moon. I think that counts for something.” And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for. *(I remember being amused and flattered that he knew who I was, not because he'd read anything by me, but because the Google algorithm of the time had me down as Neil #1. If you just typed Neil, it would take you to Many people, including me, felt that if there was a Neil #1, it was most definitely him.)

    • I have always paraphrased this sentiment as, "If you're the ugliest person at the orgy, then you're at the right orgy." It's crude enough that it disarms people, and it's memorable. But it's very similar to Gaiman's thought process, plus the fact that it's always better to be the "worst" in a room of professionals who have included you, than to be the best in a room full of amateurs. Your mere presence is proof of your validity. If you're at an orgy of superstars and models, then clearly someone finds you attractive enough to be included "in their level." If you're the dumbest person in a room full of experts, then someone clearly feels that you're knowledgeable enough to be counted among all those other giants.

    • I was thinking 'who is the more famous Neil?' then he said 'you landed on the moon' how did I forget about Neil Armstrong

  • I LOVE hearing you say the next step is the important step! I wondered if it was just me! I have a general goal but at some point its just... Done. HOWEVER making sure the next step, details paint whatever, is always KEY 😎❤😎❤😎😎❤😎❤

  • I went from bouncing something off a wall when it went wrong to thinking well that was the practice one now I've learned what not to do, it's never a mistake it's just another learning experience.

  • I want another book from Adam on thinking.... graciousness in sight of failure... imposter syndrome... his thinking on how to be gracious in social situations. Like a self help book but from a self proclaimed “recovering mansplainer” who we love.

  • DE1/2 tm E3z tm Si! I believe that they may have removed the links to answer. It's from above..

  • the late night pool crew sneakin around breakin stuff like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation

    • I was thinking "how many of us would like to see the other end of that situation?" The kid possibly shitting a brick having to explain and Adam making him do a one day build making a new hammer.