How would you handle a major “fail” on national TV?
On "America’s Got Talent" Thursday night, the Kinetic King (aka Tim Fort), a nerdy inventor who uses tongue depressors and dominos to create moving gadgets that work by chain reaction, went down in flames.
He had hoped to make it to the next level on the program and at the same time break a world record with a once-in-a-lifetime performance. The nerdy Minnesota native was not going to get another shot like this.
Fort spent 36 hours putting his “biggest gadget ever” together, but when the big moment arrived, it just wouldn’t go.
The act was a dud.
As expected, Piers Morgan was not kind. “Rarely have we seen an act go this badly,” Piers said. “On a scale of 1 to 20 million, the performance was a -1.”
But the Kinetic King kept on smiling.
He showed America how to handle failure with style and laughed at his predicament. “If you’re going to blunder, you should blunder big!” he said.
Fort was baffled over why this gadget didn’t work while his others always did. He said, “woo hoo” over and over, almost finding excitement in the outcome he never expected.
This was the kind of act Americans needed to see right now. There were no tears, no drama and no self pity. Things often don't go the way we plan. The question is how are we going to choose to experience that. The Kinetic King chose to smile.
“You gotta be famous for something,” said Fort, “and I’m going to be the biggest loser on AGT.”
Fort was stumped as to why his gadget wouldn’t go. He’s done this thousands of times and never had a problem, until this one — the big one that could have changed his life forever. But he met this disaster with optimism. "It was inspiring to watch," said one viewer.
It reminded us of when Thomas Edison's workshop containing irreplaceable research work burned to the ground. The famous inventor woke up his wife and friends and encouraged them to come down and watch his work go up in flames, saying you’ll never see another fire like this.
Edison rebuilt and made his greatest discoveries after that event.
If you ask me, handling humiliating failure with dignity and good humor makes him a winner.
Watch the failed performance here: http://youtu.be/v_H0OubcD54.
Kimberly Sayer Giles is the founder and president of LDS Life Coaching and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought-after life coach who has a popular radio show LIFEadvice on Utah's AM 1430 Saturday mornings at 8 a.m.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.