We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Many of us here have discussed how much can be learned from failure, and how relatively little can be learned from success.
Thus it is gratifying to see the child of Memphis and legendary hedge fund owner Paul Tudor Jones delivering a 9th Grade graduation address to the "Buckley Boys" in which he declined to discuss the recommended sanctimonious topic of "service" and instead spoke about the value of failure.
Good on him. Almost all of my wisdom has come from my errors and failures - whether personal or professional. Read his speech, and invite your kids to read it too.
Soichiro Honda (founder of Honda) delivered a commencement address at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. He remarked that his life was a "study in failure." An interesting remark from such a successful industrialist.
The school of hard knocks is the only one worth a darn in life. In my life, most of those hard knocks have come from my own foolishness. Wisdom comes from experience -- and experience comes from lack of wisdom.
Great comment Dr B. The interesting twist on this for me is that failure--and an especially hard knock several years ago--brought me to service. Service can function as narcissistic decor, but it can also arise from a deeply felt sense of our shared failure as human beings. Service and failure are not mutually exclusive. We can serve with the sense that we are working for the kingdom on earth inaugurated by the resurrection of Jesus 2000 years ago--the kingdom that is the solution and the hope for a very flawed human race. Of course, I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't know.
"Many of us here have discussed how much can be learned from failure, and how relatively little can be learned from success."
This is an oxymoron in that much can be learned from success. Until one experiences success, he has nothing to compare his failure to, and any lessons will go unlearned. While it might sound esoteric and righteous to grovel before the 'value' of failure, it demeans and disheartens. It may hamper initiative and close out paths to success. Success, on the other hand, is rewarding and productive and the good feeling from it promulgates a desire to keep it up.
My years of teaching proved to me that failure was killer and didn't necessarily motivate the student to try harder. But a little success worked like magic.
"Wisdom comes from experience -- and experience comes from lack of wisdom."
Right. I sure like to think anyone who deals with me in a medical sense has experience and that it does not come from a lack of wisdom. Sheeesh.
I once told a customer that purchasing a large computer system was built on pain, specifically degrees of pain, or more specifically, the avoidance of pain.
The customer was on the fence about replacing the large system they had with a larger one. (bigger, cheaper, faster, more storage, all the B.S. that salespeople use to entice customers to part with their money.) And I, as their technician, was asked (privately) for advice.
So I told her, that buying a new box was determined by pain. When the pain of waiting for screens to appear, failing hardware, lack of features, or outside requirements became more painful than the paperwork involved in buying a new box, they would make the decision.
We're mostly creatures of status quo, avoiding change (because its painful), comfortable in the current existence, tending not to move until some force makes us move. I think very little is done in the pursuit of pleasure, mostly whatever is done is the avoiding the pain. (albeit, this occurring after childhood when we were mostly oblivious to painful consequences.) Most of the lessons in life come at the experience of pain, if it hurts, you learn to avoid doing that (or at least, doing it in a less painful manner).
Eventually, this pursuit of "avoidance of painful consequences" becomes so ingrained that we get on automatically with life. I call it wisdom.
"I think very little is done in the pursuit of pleasure."
Even the Founding Fathers knew the pursuit of pleasure was the one thing that would build this great country. They didn't write, " Suffer. Be morose. Melancholia will give you wisdom. A traumatized mind will make you strong."
I share you pain, Meta. :) But I won't avoid it. In my opinion the metaphor is being stretched a bit thin here. There need be a balance between failure and success. Sure, failure teaches one that a particular action didn't work but it doesn't tell one what action will work. That can only be learned through success. There may be times when failure or success might be out of balance for some specific event but in general we live our lives learning equally from both.
Yep. You can't have one without the other; to cancel one out as somewhat useless is beyond my ken.
I don't think I'm paranoid enough for this topic. Or maybe I haven't refined the art of skulking. Or turning my life over to the service of mankind. Whatever the hell that means. How does one do that and feel success? I guess I could Bing Deepak Chopra and find out.
Resilience is the key. You get that by loving yourself through the failures and the successes. I call it life.... fall down, get up, fall down, get up. I think that's the measure of a man.
I am going to stick a pencil in my eye because some of the comments on this thread give me the willies.