I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
I have been thinking recently about how to improve myself. What areas can I work on to become a better programmer, Computer Science student, person? I came to the conclusion that I sometimes shy away from a challenge, or from learning new things because I hate failing. This lead me to think about why I hate failing so much. It seems to me that failure and mistakes are just part of life. Just like waking up, and eating, and feeling emotions. None of these things are bad, they just exist.
So what makes me hate something that happens in life? I think it is because of the social stigma we attach to failure. If I don’t pass a class or if I had be held back in grade school I would have been looked down upon by my peers. If I were to have a failing grade, I would get something taken away as a punishment. Essentially in our culture, if I fail the focus is on the bad consequences that occur because of it.
I think that this has paralyzed me, and I just want to stick to what we know we can succeed at. And when I do fail, instead of looking at my mistakes to learn from them I push them aside and try to forget about them. This has to be the worst thing I could do! I need to start making mistakes. To start learning. To start embracing my failures. The Thomas Edison quote above is going to be a new philosophy to live by. Failure is only bad if I do not learn anything from it. Mistakes where I learn something valuable from are just as good as success is sometimes, and I cannot help contribute to forming a better future if I am to afraid to get my hands a little dirty when exploring.
So here is to embracing failure!