Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Flailing Failures

Do you realize how much easier it is to learn of someone's successes than his or her failures?

"Wow, you have really accomplished a lot in your tenure here ."

"Thank you. I worked very hard to get here. Success doesn't come easy, you know."

"Interesting. How many times did you fail?"

"Errr...excuse me?"

"How many times did you not get the job, not perform at the level expected, hear 'no', and/or get rejected at every attempt to accomplish something?"

"Well, umm...."

See? People don't really like to talk about it unless they've overcome a lot of failure and you're paying at least $24.99 to read about it in their NY Times Bestseller.

What I really wish someone would have told me in college was that success is definitely possible, but failure is default. You are going to fall on your ass many times before, during, and after you reach whatever goals you may have. Many times. And that shit can really hurt. Perhaps even be embarrassing (especially if it happens in front of people). But that's what it is.

And the kicker is that failing can be such an identity factor for a lot of us.
Omg, me??? I will so make it about how the failure is evidence that I'm not good enough in some form or fashion. Like if I fail or fukk up in that face-cracking way, I can sleep for 10 hours and still wake up tired. How crazy is that? But I do it.

Then I have a private Pity Party for me, myself, and I and we all GET DOWN. An A-list, exclusive bash, and it's done very well. But eventually, I have to get out of my head (i.e. Club Imaginary) and just deal with stuff, you know? Which isn't fun most of the time but who wants to have to look at reality when you can pretend it's not there?

Yeah, I know (lol).
I was supposed to stop playing that game in my single digits. It's funny because I can remember playing hide-and-seek, thinking that if I close my eyes no one can find me because I can't see them.Interesting how very little changes from childhood, no?

I think I'm starting to dislike optimism. It's starting to occur to me as this covert form of escapism that does more harm than anything else. Kind of like "nice" people. You know how they'll do something because it's a "good thing" instead of because they choose to? And if you ask them why, most nice people might say something to the effect of "I would want someone to do it for me" or "it's the right thing to do".

That irks me.
How about doing something because it's what you CHOOSE to do?

Optimism has that same moral attachment, which is why I think it's starting to annoy me.
Like "hope".
I don't like hope.
What the hell is hope good for??? It's a moral version of wishing. It's so pointless.

So anyway, I'm going stop here because my lunch break is over and I have deadlines.

Oh and because I CHOOSE to.

I feel you on the not being told about failures. To know that you are not the only one who doesn't seem to get it or that others that do get it didn't always get it, might be a little helpful in the life blows department. If we knew how much work life really was, maybe we wouldn't be so annoyed and frustrated when the realities of struggle and hardwork/perseverance really kick in. But I think that hope and optimism are crucial, not for everybody but in some cases they can separate the successful from the unsuccessful. For example, with the amount of blows or curve balls that life throws at us, an optimistic person might be down for a little bit (unless it's that fake optimism)but always finds reason to keep going. Hope, to me is simply the desire to continue to push oneself, a sort of faith when faith has exhausted itself, the extra mile when you feel you've got nothing left. On the other hand, a less than optimistic person might allow situations presented to him/her to keep him/her down or get discouraged more easily and quickly than the next person. Hope is the reason to keep going when all other reasons have faded away basically. When life gives you a reason to commit suicide, hope gives you purpose almost. Hope without hardwork is pointless but hardwork without hope can have you stuck in the same place for a good long while. Make sense. Again I think it's not the same for everybody, based on life experiences, some might cling more to hope than others but I do believe in its relevance.

To Anonymous: Yes, you definitely make sense. I totally get where you're coming from and thank you very much for your comment:o)

Because our terminology differs, we might have to agree to disagree on this one. I think hope is for the hopeless. Anyone that keeps going during hardships isn't hopeless so there's no need for hope. I just see it as a moral wish. Like a divine dream that one holds on to.

Nothing wrong with it if that's what makes your skies blue.

I just feel that it really comes down to what you are going to do. If you give up, own the fact that your choice to do so is not due to anything other than what you chose to do at that moment. If you keep going, its because of what you chose to do.

Optimism occurs as this "Put on happy face" when your ass is pouting. I say pout if that's where you're at but do something about what's making you pout. Optimism and hope don't contribute to action in my mind. It's a decision to do despite whatever.

And you don't have to smile about a damn thing. You don't need the warm and fuzzies to act.

You just do it.
I totally disagree with the discussion of "hope" Hope is what you make it. Because I choose (it is about having and excerising choice)to hope in the eternal or in a brother in law who is hooked on crack does not make me hopeless. Why live a life where you lose sight of hope. What is it worth? That's all I have to say.
To anonymous: Lol, my point exactly. If your life is based on hope, what exactly does that mean? To me, it registers as "I HOPE I wake up breathing." or "I HOPE that I don't get sick." or "I HOPE I pass that test next week."

What's the point of that? If your life is based on a bunch of wishful thinking (which I seriously doubt, by the way) then yes, I'm very curious to know how well that's going for you, lol.

BTW, I love your comment:o) Disagreement is allowed. It's an opinion blog...not the book of Revelation. *wink*

Wow, this is an interesting conversation. Hope is an interesting term. I don't know if I believe in it or not. But I think that like every other term in the dictionary, hope can take on multiple interpretations to different people. I can see where both sides are coming from. I can see choice for what it is, a decision to keep going no matter what. but then again I can see how hope can play a role when you feel you want to keep going but you're not really sure you can. It is like an abstract moral optimism in a way. But if some people need that in order to decide to keep going, then that's cool. And if some keep going no matter what without some divine wish of moral intervention, then they can do them too. I think it really depends on your background, the way you grew up and how you were raised. If you come from a family where you are accustomed to everyone around you just doing what they have to do constantly non stop, then hope may not be real to you and if you grew up where things are always kind of iffy or up in the air but those around you turn to some type of abstract hope before pushing on then we know where you're more likely to be. either way, it's a deep discussion and a deep concept. just thought i'd add my input.
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