Failure is an option

2016

If you can dream it, you still might not be able to achieve it.
What doesn’t kill you, allmost kills you.
Winners never quit, but quitters sometimes quit to win at other things.

You cannot reverse-engineer a success story and treat it like some kind of a blueprint, because almost every success story downplays the power of random chance. Sure, hard work and attitude is paramount for true success, but these are not the only important factors.

A high school basketball player has ~0.03 % chance to join NBA. Are you saying that all of the other guys just did not want it enough? Maybe they should have trained harder?

It might be tempting to disregard luck until one grasps the amount of competition in the field. While thousands of startups are being conceived every day, only 10 % will be successful. How arrogant would you have to be to think that the other 90% simply didn’t believe in their idea enough?

The problem with cheap motivational bullshit is that it makes the reciever believe that the world owes success to him, no evidence required. She/he becomes the hero in his own mind, the one who is great and thus everything she/he does must also be great. While that might feel good and at least for a brief moment empower a person to do great things, a motivated idiot is still just an idiot.

I can control what I think and do (to some extent). That’s where my influence ends. I have almost no real control over anything else. Good attitude is important to avoid analysis paralysis, but too often that same attitude morphs into wishful thinking and delusions. You cannot just trust that eveything will go your way. Maybe it will, maybe it will not, and maybe it will go in the exact opposite direction. No way to know until it’s happening.

I’ve been working on a side project for the past 6 months or so. As the launch date approaches, of course I have wishful fantasies where it finds wild success and changes my life forever. If I didn’t think that my project deserves to exist then what would be the point in doing it. However, every time I let my imagination run wild I remind myself that it’s only a mirage and as of now, my project is in some Schrödinger’s box, both a success and a failure at the same time. Even if I do everything just right, there’s just no way to know if it will find it’s target users. I realize that chances are against me. I’m fine with that. If it fails I will just move on to the next thing.

If success is a lottery, then hard work is a ticket. No one owes you anything just because you bought a ticket, but not buying a ticket guarantees a loss.