Wednesday, February 26, 2014

More on failure, and overcoming it, maybe

I've been thinking a lot about failure recently. And so far it has boiled down to something like this:

Secular worldview:
What gives me worth:
My accomplishments.

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-confidently say "they missed out because they didn't choose me for this position", "i was too good for that position anyways", or "it was not my fault"
-bank on my past accomplishments
-bank on the hope of my future accomplishments - i.e. look towards other successful people who have failed hard in the past yet are now successful and have that make me feel better because there's a chance that i can be like them and be successful

Christian worldview:
What gives me worth:
The inherent value God has given me by 1) creating me, 2) choosing to enter a relationship with me

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-keep reminding myself that what I had set really high hopes on was an idol and not God's will for me at this time
-bank on the fact that in the past (in fact before the begining of time), God pre-elected me for salvation. So I need to keep reminding myself about the fact that I am christian
-bank on the hope of my ultimate future destination (heaven), and all this world and life will pass

Other views (still looking into this; maybe this is a magic pill):

What gives me joy:

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-remove the thoughts of the past from the present from the thoughts of the future. (Echkart Tolle stuff)

Misc. thoughts:
Humans do not give other humans time/care/respect based solely on that other human's "inherent value". Even the godliest Christian would not prefer to spend relaxation time with a thief/murderer/rapist/etc. All Humans value other humans not because of "who they are", but because of "what they do", and Christians, being human, are bound to these emotions.

This blog post on value and grace was terrific:
One quote from it is about a students thoughts on a professor taking him to coffee despite him doing poorly in the class:
"By taking me to coffee, he had shown me he valued me as a human being, independent of my academic record. And having my worthiness separated from my performance gave me great freedom! I could truly enjoy learning again. Whether I succeeded or failed would not affect my worthiness as a human being. Because even if I failed, I knew: I am still worth having coffee with!"
But that student was still valued by the professor because of what the student had done in the past (because he was after-all, accepted into the school, is a math major, obviously cares about the subject... etc). Even if the professor didn't value that student based on the student's academic record in his class, the professor still valued the student based on the students record of some kind.

"You must not only be sincere, you must also be right"

More Thoughts - TBD:
Where does confidence come into play? Athletes, performers, interviewees, everyone basically, does better when they are confident...

How do you cope with failure that is unrecoverable? I.e., you caused someone to pass away...?

For all my shit-talking, complaining, whining, fist-shaking...

I'm reminded of how weak and useless I am when I am sick.
Without energy, throat so sore can't even breath, every body part aches.

It really humbles me and shuts me up - in a good way.
Reminds me that I am nothing but dust.
Thankful for all that I have. Thankful for the days when I am not sick.

If only I can remember this daily, yet not be sick. But the memory is so fleeting.
I guess the past only hurts when you relive it and it affects the present.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

failure, failure failure failure

This week, has been a pretty big week of failure for me.

1. More or less bombed a grad school interview that i had a lot of hopes on. A friend did a mock interview with me and told me to know my resume really well. For some dumbass reason, i didn't study my resume but kept preparing examples (because most online forums said the interview was a going to be a "give an example of..." type of interview). Well, it turned out to be a "tell me about yourself..." type of interview, and i choked up a lot and gave stupid answers because i didn't know/study my resume. Bombing that interview and thinking of all the things i could have, should have, would have said, makes me want to throw up.

2. Took time off work, requested my dad's time and help, and replaced my leaking water heater last week, paying money out of my own pocket. Then i discovered that i had home warranty coverage that could have paid for it all. It was a really difficult job that mainly my dad did (I eventually left for work and had him do most of the job). I feel like i risked his health and lower back by asking him to do all that moving with me.

When i think about these failures. the only thing that keeps me hoping are those quotes from famous people about how failure after failure leads to success.

I don't think i ever really appreciated those quotes until now. When the failure feels so bad that the hope of future success is the only thing that makes me feel better.

The other good outcome is it made me love and respect my dad that much more. I often balk at him when he needs my help (translating documents, moving furniture, etc.), but he's always prompt to come help me.

I hope i can learn from this...
What are my lessons learned?
-love and respect my dad more
-before making big actions, examine options, even "out of the box options" like "my water heater is leaking water, oh no, but oh wait, i have a home warranty that i've never used that'll cover a water heater replacement!"
-study broadly before studying deeply when it comes to studying for interviews

Been sulking and pity partying this whole week. time to dust myself off and get back into the fight of life.

cool article i just read about failure: