The value of failure and the problems arising in the absence of an appreciation for that
Today I am inspired by a podcast I listened to a few months ago on the value of failure and the problems that arise in the absence of an appreciation for that.
The podcast is called “Failure is an Option”. It aired on NPR’s TED Radio Hour on July 29 2016. A guest outlined two scenarios in which we can fail to fail and therefore actually fail.
The first is being so afraid of failing, that doing anything interesting becomes impossible. The second is being so afraid to admit failure in the context of actually failing, that getting on a non-failing path, becomes impossible.
I imagine a line (red here). The line represents the essence of a person’s resonance with the larger world. If I were to locate the term for this line in the tradition of psychopathology study, the term that most closely relates is personality I think. This is an idea. In this psychopathology tradition, personality is defined as a system of self government, which includes inherited elements of temperament and intelligence and the programming that comes through cultural and formal education. Additionally, an effective self government system must be capable of interacting effectively with other self government systems that share the same culture.
If the red line represented an ideal essence (perfectly effective self government system), then the yellow line can be this essence/self government system in the context of the two types of failures.
The green fill may be the difference between ideal resonance and being overly regulated (failing by being too afraid- not doing anything interesting) and the orange fill may be the difference between ideal resonance and being underly regulated (not being able to admit failure and continuing to actually fail based on this).
What I love about this is that while green needs to get in touch with what they believe in themselves and trust that whether or not people like what they are doing, that they are doing the right thing, orange needs to release a sense that what they once thought was the right thing may not be and that their redirecting when something is not working is not a weakness but a strength. This is one way we can work with our selves to get yellow and red a little less out of whack.
If I were going to complicate this later, I’d start by talking about how this red line is an insanely intricate meeting of a person’s potential with the way things are and therefore while we may be interested in fine tuning the way we are to get the two lines in line, fine tuning the way things are is another and arguably more generous place to focus our fixing wills and energies.
with all my love,
❤ Juicy Juicing Juilcily ❤