Not failing, which is in and of itself1 laudable, and tells of courage, bravery, and sexy kind of stupidity. Failure is difficult because without a good and sense of self, self-importance, and that necessary tinge of despised narcissism failure becomes relative2.
And this applies doubly so to me, I suppose, because I've spent a not insignificant4 part of my late teenage and young adult life defining failure as an inability to impress/make happy/keep in favour with others. So that my ability to fail or not succeed5 was a function of other's6 tolerance of my action. Not being funny and entertaining company was a failure. Not being academically resourceful and logistically convenient was a failure. People in general are quite happy and eager to determine what the criteria for my failing is.
It is quite tumultuous7 to cycle through this as a realisation, because well apart from recognising my own failing8 to decide for myself what failing means, it's easy to want to wag a finger at the flavour of people I accepted failing criteria from before. And its an undeserved scorn, because I happily determine the criteria of the failure of others.
Maybe that's where those persons who have incredibly accepting and loving hearts come from; through their inability to decide how other people fail.
I'm not sure I've done it yet either. My vapid9 extra-curricular year and a half since graduating10 talks to two things:
- I'm fortunate to work where a "performance culture" means my constructive corporate progress is passively taken care of, and my mental engineering fault means this will continue
- Because my weekends and time away isn't seen or cared for by anyone else, these have descended into stagnant puddles of meh.
Deciding what constitutes my own failure feels ... awesome11. Because re-wiring, or attempting to, at that level can only bring about washes of change and conflict. Importance changes. Things stop mattering. Things start to matter. Energy becomes a resource which needs to be strategically re-thought while the momentum of entertaining decisions already made needs to be (mostly) kept.
The flip-side of this flip-floppy chameleon like being, I guess, is Elon Musk. Now there's a personified instutionalisation of self-determined determination.