What Jonathan Trappe And 370 Helium-Filled Balloons Teach Us About Following Our Dreams, Physics Be Damned

The great Michael Jordan once said, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”


Adventurer Jonathan Trappe should take these words to heart. As we reported earlier, Trappe’s attempt to cross the Atlantic ocean with the help of just 370 giant helium-filled balloons was thwarted after a technical malfunction on Friday. While the mission was ultimately unsuccessful, we were inspired by Trappe’s will and have pieced together a few silver linings that any person who has experienced failure can learn from.

Have A Sense Of Humor

Hey, look: we all fail. Heck, failure is practically vacuum guru James Dyson’s motto.

I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution. So I don’t mind failure. I’ve always thought that schoolchildren should be marked by the number of failures they’ve had. The child who tries strange things and experiences lots of failures to get there is probably more creative.

As for Trappe? His first message to fans after touching down in Newfoundland was simple and lighthearted: “Hmm this doesn’t look like France.” Oh, that’s not to mention that he was attempting to float across the Atlantic under a canopy of helium balloons. Keep it fun, there’s always next time!

Dream Big, And Take Inspiration From Where It Comes Naturally

Remember the movie Up?

Learn To Give Up Your Goals Without Guilt

Trappe is yet to decide whether he’ll try the trans-Atlantic journey again. If he does, good for him. If he doesn’t, well, that’s okay. In moving past one goal, you might just get on the path to discovering the next.

[Image: Flickr user Andrew Magill]