Tomorrow’s success is built on today’s failure

Paul Pape is a guy that knows how to challenge himself.  In fact, he’s built a very successful career in the entertainment industry because of his ability to embrace challenges and create solutions where none exist. From a very early age, he was the kind of guy who was willing to stick around school when everybody else was out playing ball. He had this insatiable desire to learn how things work.  Who would imagine that his elementary school plan and fascination with toys and machines would lead to developing his career building props and sets across the entire entertainment spectrum? 

During my recent Unbeatable Podcast interview Paul described immersing himself in school and his bedroom to escape an abusive childhood situation. Many people would use childhood trauma as an excuse for not living up to their full potential. He was unwilling to allow his past to hold him back. Known as Paul from Kansas across the entertainment industry he has worked on projects from The Tonight Show to major motion pictures, to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.

Becoming comfortable behind the scenes

Most people in the Western world have seen Paul’s work and don’t realize it. During our fascinating conversation, Paul described how he spends countless hours developing one-off solutions to problems for props and sets across the entertainment industry.

As you can expect, the entertainment industry is an extremely demanding business with extremely tight timelines. Not only must Paul’s props and devices work, but they must also work the first time and typically must be created on a very tight timeline. This high-pressure lifestyle would cause most people to lose their hair.

Improving your craft over time

Start out being able to develop elaborate one-off devices out of thin air. It is a skill that he has developed over decades. Paul began by tinkering with small objects. These small objects taught him how materials and motors interact with one another. After decades of developing entirely unique devices, he has built up this immense mental library of how to make unique things work.

Paul is a true artist. Anyone who can fashion a piece of metal and part of a machine together into a working device the world has never seen is a true genius. His props at the amusement parks, his sets on major motion pictures, and his devices for television have delighted many millions of people over the years.

Learning from mistakes

Of course, when creating unique inventions you are going to fail repeatedly. I loved listening to Paul recount how famous inventors built on the success of previous failures. Many times, an inventor’s relentless desire to bring what is in their head to reality transforms the world. If you’re going to accomplish anything great in life, it will often be through improving on past mistakes. Perhaps your greatest tool for success tomorrow is your willingness to learn from failure today. 

Paul issued a challenge to everyone listening to his interview. He reminded us that the world needs more inventors.   I hope his shocking statistics show that humanity advanced from the Wright Brothers’ first manned flight to landing on the moon in the same amount of time as the moon landing until today.  There’s no denying the need for more great inventors, who are willing to persevere through hardships and failure if we’re going to elevate humanity in this century the way that manned flight did in the last century. I hope his interview gave you the courage to learn from your challenges and build tomorrow’s success on today’s failures.

Listen to my whole interview with Paul HERE

Further reading

A modern Harriot Tubman

Quintina Sonnie helps rescue other women from sex trafficking and works with them over a long term to help heal their hearts and their bodies from...

Discipline vs. Drive

Angela Fuller displayed the drive and discipline to make a remarkable recovery from her spinal injuries.

It’s not the fight that matters

The strongest force on the battlefield is always motivated by love just like the toughest opponent in a fight, will always give their best out of...