What can Adele teach us?
When 24 million people are watching you live then the pressure is on. In 2017, Adele was performing at the Grammys but as she began her tribute to George Michael, she realised her voice was off key. Obviously Twitter went crazy.
Then she did something that superstars hardly ever do – she stopped, apologised profusely and said that she sounded bad. Okay she also swore which isn’t professional but she was willing to admit to her mistake and give things another try.
When she started singing again she was in the zone and her second version was flawless and heartfelt. Twitter went crazy again but for different reasons.
After the song she felt embarrassed and looked dejected but did she do the right thing?
The number one thing Adele was willing to do was acknowledge she’d messed up. Life isn’t perfect even if you are blessed with talents galore.
Life can be perfect momentarily but even with hours of attention to detail, things can still go wrong. It did for Adele but then it went right. Rather than soldier on and make a real mess of things by singing off key until the bitter end she pressed pause on herself and said “No, I know I can do better, so let me try – sorry everyone!”
This is admirable, honest and refreshing.
How many teachers get off to a bad start in a lesson and continue regardless only to make matters worse? How many of us would have the nerve to ditch a lesson plan knowing that our content was ‘off key’?
If we can admit to our mistakes, mistiming and errors of judgement then perhaps children will also see that we don’t always get things right and if the situation demands it then its a good thing to try again or change direction. They too might also realise that mistake-making is okay and a healthy learning environment doesn’t mind mistakes – what it does mind though are cover-ups or pointless efforts to carry on when all we need to do is stop, say sorry and give things another crack.
We can seek perfection but we don’t need to pressure ourselves chasing it or living up to it.
We certainly don’t need children to ‘be perfect’ but it does help them see that even the best performers in the world ‘have a bad day at the office’ and that’s okay.
If you need to reboot then reboot, an epic fail might actually turn into an epic success.