I want to dissect failure and why some failures need to happen to all men at some point in their lives. Failure has become so frowned upon that people in society have started rewarding effortless participation. I see no reason lackluster participation should be given a trophy. Why is it so important for people to be included as an award winner if they made no positive contributions? Rather than accepting the results of a loss and improving themselves, people feel the need to protest the outcome and demand loser recognition. Losing doesn’t feel good as a man, but it’s key to development. It has been in our nature to explore and learn throughout history. Men didn’t always make it back from a saber-toothed tiger or woolly mammoth hunt. The trophy was won when you came back home as a stronger and more enlightened man proving you could survive. Simply showing up didn’t earn you anything, in fact it would probably get you killed. If the winners hadn’t previously failed on a smaller scale they would not have learned the needed skills to make a large kill. Recognizing what not to do is just as important as learning what you should do.
The participation trophy ruined children who are now adults. Several of my peers are smug, but with no effort given. Great men have failed at something. They tried, they saw it didn’t work and moved on in a new direction. A smart man can make a stupid investment and go “Hmm, I should not do that again.”. A stupid investment can be money, time or both. Those men have at least earned respect for trying and recognizing a loss . You won’t know if you wasted your time if you haven’t tried and failed. Avoiding any risk and failure in hopes that you’ll be acknowledged for participation is a plague that has come over millennials. Failing at something should be a lesson learned, not an excuse of why you couldn’t accomplish anything.
Do research! Research things that you don’t find interesting, you might be surprised. I can’t stress this enough. Research is sometimes a failure. Quit being afraid of the truth. Try something new and fail or hopefully succeed. It’s as simple as listen to a new band or read an article on anything you normally wouldn’t have. If they are terrible you might have lost at most an hour. No one should be given recognition for doing nothing. Worst possible case you educated yourself on a topic and can hold a conversation. We live in the age of information, if you choose to be ignorant it’s your fault.
I do have an example of how not to go about this. I went to school for computer networking. There were a few computer programming classes I had to take, there was also Computer Science kids who took networking classes. Every year a new kid would show up and tell us how he’s here to make video games, eventually fail and change majors.
I witnessed a kid have a complete meltdown, involving what I believe to be all 7 Stages of Grief within 5 minutes. I was working on a project in a lab his computer science class was in. He didn’t realize how much math was involved in “making vidya games”. First he was shocked and started yelling that he couldn’t do this, began yelling at the teacher for not telling him, moved on to what options he had for salvaging “his ruined life”(a bit dramatic for an 18 year old), began crying, then I believe he ran off to change majors that day. At the time I was dating a girl who was an arts major and he started showing up in her classes. This could have all been solved if his whole life he wasn’t encouraged to jump into a pretty big commitment for something that sounds good in his clearly uneducated mind. Maybe do a little research into something before you decide to make it your life calling.
Don’t be afraid of failure because you should try to learn new things, and be prepared to suck sometimes.