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Failure and how to move on

July 04, 2020

This was written two years ago, and now I’m republishing it with grammar/typo correction and latest retrospective thought.


Watching my four years old daughter, I can tell you most of time she wants to be a winner. Whether if it’s climbing stairs or getting to the bathtub, it doesn’t matter to her.

Once we had an idea, we do whatever for the best. What we don’t get born with is the ability in how to handle the unexpected outcome, the negative one, failure.

From the past couple of years I found out I have been only slightly improving that ability, it’s worth to review the past failures from time to time.

Dilemma

One of the difficult thing to do is to name it a failure, a miserable situation you get yourself into after ten years of hard work. Your work didn’t convert to things that you were hoping for. You get confused, frustrated, or angry management issue. However, the sooner you call it out, the better chance you don’t drag on for too long. Believe it or not, dragging on isn’t worthwhile, in any meaningful long run.

The mindset that help me doing this is that I imagine myself in a battle field. Winning isn’t a free lunch, and most importantly it’s not guaranteed. You might do hard work and still end up in a losing position. The fact is that you could (or let’s say in a very high chance to) lose. We tend to do things that interests us which could be unknown to us as well. So for the first time gamer, I’ll say 99% chance of losing is more often guaranteed.

Move on

What we should do is to move on after the failure. You fail, you should find some comfort zone to set back. For example, go out for lunch, go sleep for a day, hide somewhere. And then you just move on, call it a disaster or failure, talk about it or not talk about it at all. But move on.

This is something that I find very interesting about human. My daughter can cry for 5mins, and then I yelled at her to move on, and then she moved on. I can see myself (or others) cry about things for hours, days or even months. The thing what we all should learn is to cry and put a bit effort to move on. I help my daughter to get back to her foot after she cried, and I wish someone could’ve helped me in some of my past situations. You cried and cried, and then nobody come to help you and then you do something crazier. This is not good. We should have a way to fall back and start all over again.

We don’t have to pretend nothing happened, since it did happen, and it’ll be always with you. But it’s not big deal, after we cried, we can just accept this is not a good situation, and we move on to see if we can build something again while understanding one of the outcome in the future could be the same if we are not thoughtful.

Your body doesn’t lie, but also it doesn’t cooperate very well if it doesn’t agree with you, like my two years old son. He doesn’t like something, he’ll have to express himself in a straight forward way.

It is time when it is time. If you don’t know when you heal, ask your body. Maybe you should help your body, in whichever way like I helped my daughter, to get its foot back and move on from the current time frame on.

Time to kick in

It might be a magic to us that someone can move on so quickly while others can’t. It might be very informative to watch how others can drag on their situation without moving on for so many years.

The trick, or no trick here, is the time to heal. You need to spend time sink yourself into the thought of this past situation, be it a failure or success. The more resources you put to work with it, the more your body can get used to your new environment.

The incentive to accept the fact is that there’s some accumulative knowledge that you might gain in this situation, and if you can get out of the situation without further damage, you might actually have better chance in the future.

You gain knowledge of your past experience, moreover you can distribute the pain into future years, so that the pain might not be that big any more. Losing a chunk of money yesterday is one thing, and losing the same amount in five years might be another thing, as long as you don’t keep losing money in that fashion.

In a sense, time does help, since it make things look different depending on the time frame you are looking at. If that is the case, why don’t we utilize it to help us heal quickly, and at the same time, not making the same mistake again. Isn’t that the real success?


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