On bending the rules

Great essay by Mike Johnson today, called Feet are Optional, about bending the rules and his vision of what it takes to be a great photographer. This bit really struck me:

What these straight-A kids wanted was for me to set the terms of their success for them. They wanted me to set up the hoop so they could jump through it for me. They wanted to be told how they could be certain of success. It was what they encountered everywhere else. But what I wanted was for them to set up their own hoop, or, better yet, look askance at the hoop and go, “Nah, not today,” and wander off somewhere and see what they could find. The fact is, you need to fail a lot if you want to succeed as an artist. That’s why the kids who were used to failing weren’t fazed by my classes: they weren’t threatened by the idea of falling flat on their faces 90% of the time. The good students definitely were.

Sounds rather… familiar.