A group of students have come together to create a podcast on the theme of success and failure. Traditionally, at the end of a race, while the first-place winner received a trophy or medal of some sort to celebrate their success, the person in last place would receive a wooden spoon. While in the moment a trophy seems like a more desirable prize, in the long run, the wooden spoon will inevitably be more useful and can become a tool to further build on skills and may even help to achieve personal goals. It’s for this reason that the podcast, created by Eve Cornwell, Jack Edwards, Jade Bowler (UnJaded Jade) and Ruby Granger, was named “The Wooden Spoon”. The four, who initially rose to fame on YouTube by sharing study tips, use the platform to redefine what society views as failure and share a different perspective that celebrates all abilities and recognises opportunities to turn struggles into success.
“The point of this podcast isn’t about avoiding failure or making sure that failure never happens it’s more about redefining failure and embracing failure and making it work to your own advantage. The thing about a wooden spoon is that you can repurpose it, you could use it to bake a cake” – Jack Edwards, The Wooden Spoon Ep. 1
Society has built a, sometimes unhealthy, idea of what defines success. In school, success is typically seen in those who achieve the top academic grades or who excel in a particular sport. In the workplace, success is often the employee who can bring in the greatest profit and so on and so forth. On the other hand, an individual who does not achieve the highest grades or does not fly higher than their fellow workers is typically cast off as a “failure”. Not only this but society tends to view failure as something that you can’t come back from. Even if you move on from it, it’s often viewed as a stain on your record of success.
However, failure isn’t always a bad thing. It all comes down to how you learn from the experience and how you decide to move on and grow from it. We all “fail” from time to time, it’s what makes us human. In the first episode of the podcast, the group discuss what failure really is and how it’s often different depending on the person experiencing it. The group have previously discussed their own failures on their YouTube channels. Ruby in particular shared her experience with personal failure when she posted a video on her rejection by Oxford University, the university she had been dreaming of going to since she was a little girl, to study English. A year on from this disappointment and she’s studying at Exeter University, doing a Philosophy and Theology course. She’s openly discussed the fact that had she been accepted to Oxford, she would not have considered the course she now loves and is excelling at. While the experience of not getting into the University she wanted was painful and difficult to overcome, in the long run the outcome helped guide her on a path that she would not have considered before.
By viewing “failure” in a new light it no longer becomes failure but an opportunity to do something new, to learn and to grow. “Failure” is often linked to mental health and it’s for this reason that we believe the message delivered by The Wooden Spoon is so important and inspiring. The podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts as well as many more. We’re excited to hear their views in their upcoming episode on mental health and we wish them all the best.