So… I had this conversation with an old classmate.

(Sidenote… She’s also the dean of the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University – our undergraduate alma mater.)

Conversation went something like this… “Hey how are you guys doing for speakers for the undergraduate seminars for Spring this year?” (This was in early November 2021.)

The response was basically that it would be awesome to have me back for the seminar… so naturally, I got my thoughts together and put some slides into a somewhat cohesive PowerPoint and hit the road to basically do some shameless self-promotion as speaker/coach/consultant.

I sought advice from friends/colleagues on how best to relate to and reach/engage the students, as it has been a few years since I last gave the undergrad seminar.  The responses were disappointing, but not surprising – “Hey Aaron, you know… a lot has changed – You’ll be lucky to capture 20% of the audience, and you probably won’t hold on to more than 5-10% through the end of seminar.” 

Let’s just say, that for once in my life I got to be the one who wrecked the curve, just in a truly awesome and amazing way!  The weird part?  I was blocking so hard at the end of it – I didn’t even realize that I got a standing ovation… as an engineering seminar speaker… Humbling is just the start of how I felt about it.  But anyway – click the link and give it a watch (or listen) and see for yourself.

The graphic that goes with the very unusual title is my take on the idea that any given moment in time along your life’s journey is a “Eutectic Point”. (Engineering/science nerdery… if you get it, cool! Want to look it up – also cool!  Don’t care even a little?  Also, super cool – it’s not necessary to the point of the talk!)

How to Fail

An open look at how we view failure. Presented by invitation at the Alfred University Undergraduate Seminar on February 17, 2022. The actual title, The Eclectic Eutectic borrows a concept from materials science as a metaphorical analog for a snapshot of your life at any given instant – and seeks to bring about awareness of the role that failure plays. The central idea is this: we live in a world where failure is bad and success is good. But failure is way more common than success – so WHY don’t we talk about it more? Why the stigma? What if we start looking at failure as a necessary component of success? What then… I think the possibilities are huge.