1. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Which is more valuable? Success or failure?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by NaCl, Aug 12, 2008.

    "Fear of failure" drives some people. "Fear of success" limits others. Why?

    I have experienced the heights of success and the low points of failure. Success gave great euphoria while failure offered the best lessons. Is one more valuable than the other? Are they inseparable like Yin-Yang, each requiring the other to define itself?
     
  2. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say success is more valuable, because the reason failure is valuable is as a learning experience to help you succeed in the future. Success is inherently valuable though, because you did something that you deemed worth doing in the first place.

    Of course that's not set in stone for all situations. I can imagine situations where failure actually does more good than succeeding at what you intended.

    Edit: That being said, I do think that both are required in order to know which is which. You can't really know you've succeeded if you don't know what failure is.
     
  3. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    I guess they've both got their good points. I think everybody prefers to get the good things in life, but I'm not sure instant success is always the best thing for us as writers. If we're immediatly successful in say, the publishing arena, what inducement do we have to work harder to hone our skill?

    That being said, I'd prefer sudden success over long failure. ;)
     
  4. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Neither is more valuable than the other. Failure defines Success as Success defines Failure.
     
  5. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    I think they're too intertwined to make one worth more than the other. I think you need a balance of both. One of my friends got really down recently because he failed something, but the real reason it got him down was because he had never failed before. He is a really clever person, and accademically he has always suceeded. Suddenly we're getting into the realms of real life, where there is more than just getting good grades that matter, and it really got him down. Too much sucess is just as bad as too much failure. It requires a delicate balance, imo.
     
  6. AnonymousWriter
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    AnonymousWriter Contributing Member

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    Most people achieved their greatest success one step beyond what looked like their greatest failure. - Famous Quote
    I would have to say failure.
     
  7. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    good topic, but:

    this is one issue.
    ...and these are two more issues. so you're talking about at least three issues in total.


    as for my opinion, failure is ultimately the more efficient teacher than success IMO. meditating on your failures can teach you everything, provided you have the balance not to internalise them, so to speak. meditating on your successes teaches far less and is a good way to build up ego and expectation at the same time, things which will limit your development sooner or later.

    regarding the other two issues, they're both harmful mindsets and need to be recognised and treated as the problems that they are. just for the record, the former is particularly strong in me and has damaged my life more than i can describe in words. so i try to be smart and work with it every chance i can, now.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think you mentioned the answer perfectly in your OP. They are yin and yang. They are almost different epistemologies. Different ways of knowing different things. Equally valuable in their own way.
     
  9. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Logical followup question:

    Do we have control over our responses to success or failure? If so, how can such responses be put to good use to help with our writing and getting published?
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with Wrey - they are yin and yang. without successes, you cannot determine progress, and you lose the incentive to continue. Without success, you also cannot measure progress, and you lose the incentive to improve your work.

    Failure shows you where you need to improve, success tells you what not to mucj around with.

    Admittedly, though, I am predisposed to see everything in terms of dualities.
     
  11. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    It all boils down to what you think winning is.
     
  12. penhobby
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    penhobby Contributing Member

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    In my personal life (and I’m not just talking about writing) failure has been by far the most beneficial. Success goes straight to my head and I am the queen of whatever it is I did right.

    When I fail though, it drives me insane. I keep pushing, and going back again and again until I get it right, mainly because I hate being wrong, and I hate failing at something I know I can do right.
     
  13. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Yes, why wouldn't you? As for the second part, there are just too many variables to give a good answer.
     
  14. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    not trying to nitpick you here because i'm sure you are well aware of this, but-

    due to the nature of change, any template for success will eventually become a template for failure unless you muck around with it somewhat. (or drop it completely in some cases)
     
  15. DarkMaiden273
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    I personally think I have a fear of success which creates limits, but also as with anyone else I have the fear of failure. So I write and then either delete it or let it collect dust. No one reads what I write. So I think failure is more important. With me my failure is that I refuse to let people read my things for fear that I am right and am bad at writing. If I try; even if I fail as a writer; I still find success.

    So actually I guess I don't think there's an answer.
     

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