Most people are scared of failure. I have to admit, I am (partially) one of them.
Failure is scary. Not only does it affect us directly but it can also change the way people look at us. Or at least, the way we think people look at us.
Because if we have to be honest, most people don't really care enough. People in general don't spend a lot of time thinking about us and if they do it's generally because our life is more interesting than their's.
Don't believe me? Stop and think about it for a second. How often do you think about people who's life is not interesting? Take your time, I'll wait for it...
That's right, not all that often. There is nothing wrong with that either. It's perfectly normal. Heck, we don't even spend that much time thinking about people who live crazy, amazing, interesting lives. Disagree? Again, take a minute to think about it...
See... you don't spend that much time thinking about them either.
Isn't it interesting then that we often worry so much about what other people think about us? People really aren't that much different. They'll spend about as much time thinking about you as you do thinking about them. And we've just worked out that this means they really don't think about us all that often.
But still we worry about what they might think. Or perhaps I should say; still I sometimes worry about what they might think even though this really makes no sense.
Aside from that, Deepak Chopra already said it best :
Other people have to live their life while I have to live mine. They are coming from a different point of view based on the experience they've had and the dreams and goals they have. Most likely they won't align fully with mine which means that their outlook on life is not relevant for me. And the ideas they have and decision they make, although great for them, are likely not the ones that will work for me.
So one of my goals for this year is to let go of other people's perceptions and be true to myself about mine. I can't force others to see things from my point of view (nor would I want to) but I can take responsibility for my own decisions and therefor live completely in line with what I think works best.
Sure, there is a big chance I won't always succeed but is that really such a bad thing? I've failed in the past but turned out ok. To be honest, I quite like myself as a person. And although I've failed a lot of times in the past, those failures have helped me to become the person I am today.
So this post really turned into something else. It went from failure to "what other people think" and became a mix of both. Ah well, blame it on my randomness. Guess I failed but somehow this time it doesn't bother me at all.
So as you probably already guessed, I decided to go with Chinese first.
There really was no other reason than "I've been thinking about it for ages". When I think about it then I have to admit it's probably the least helpful language for me to learn at this point. Then again, who said learning should be driven by necessity?
Maybe it's different in other places but when I look around me then most of the time people don't learn just for the fun of it. Sure, they often have fun while learning but they only seem to start learning when something becomes useful. And I have to admit, I went through a period like that as well. Unfortunately though it also took away part of my enjoyment related to learning. Sure, whatever I learned was helpful and the process was fun but it was often at an inconvenient moment. Because of that the learning also created additional stress and I stopped enjoying it.
About a year ago I started learning things just for the heck of it again though and I'm now actually enjoying it again. Sure, being able to say:"I want to read a book now" in Chinese is probably not very helpful but then, who cares? It's not like I have to be able to have a conversation with somebody tomorrow. I can just slowly work my way through the material.
I love failure. When it occurs, I'm pretty indifferent to it, but as a concept I love it. Failure lets you know that you're doing something wrong. It shines a light on a personality trait that needs to be fixed,one that probably would go unchanged if it weren't for failure.
People who fail and get angry are missing the point. Failure is opportunity. It's like getting angry that your car tells you you're low on gas. The indicator light isn't the problem,the level of fuel is. Further, hiding the failure doesn't solve the underlying problem. Disconnecting the indicator light won't fill up your gas tank, but filling up your gas tank will turn off the light.
During my tenure as a pickup artist, I never took failure personally. It never mattered to me. Each time I failed, I felt as though the girl had revealed a secret to me. No attractive girl is chaste her whole life, no girl is a bitch to every guy. If she didn't want me to call her, that meant that there was something unattractive about me that I had to change. Compliments and success stroke my ego, but honest critical feedback leaves me thinking for months.
I have failed financially so far. It's not that I'm poor, or anywhere close to it. I'm sure my income, net worth, or lifestyle are impressive or even enviable to a lot of people. I'm so immeasurably grateful for everything I have that I feel a tinge of guilt on a daily basis for not spending the entire day thanking everyone who has made my life so great. However, despite whatever success I have, I am not where I want to be. I will be a billionaire, I will own my own submarine and airplane, and I will spend the majority of my life traveling and seeking adventure. I'm not nearly as close as I should be to these goals, and I'm not exactly on the express train there.