Monday, January 30, 2012

Failure: It's An Option

I find it particularly interesting and amusing that there are abundant sources of literature on the subject of How To Be Successful, Quickly and even on Averting Failures and Risks. However, there is very little that is written up on how to deal with being unsuccessful, being risk-prone and what to do when you've failed? I suspect it is one particular taboo subject alongside sex and nudity. Or better, one of the most dreaded words in the English language.

We have practically been brought up in a landscape where success, defined in terms of fame, fortune and fans; should be everyone's lifetime goal. The unnecessary stress this brings upon every individual is proven by the unarguable success of pharmaceutical companies making happy pills and the number of very affluent shrinks/therapists as well as cosmetic surgeons.

Something is terribly wrong here.

Growing up in a family where academic achievements defined your future, I chose to be the maverick. I refuse to follow my family's definition of success, much to the pain and chagrin of my parents. Whilst my big brother raked in the honours, I chose to be the apple of the Discipline's Office, The Detention Centre and the Guidance Counsellor. Nope, there was nothing clinically wrong with me, I just refused to be outstanding. However, I was exemplary in matters where Citations were given but they were completely of a different nature. 

I realized that because of this trait, I have become fearless about "failing". You see here, the fear of failure tend to reduce your capacity to stretch and dare yourself. When you're afraid of failing, you're scared to dream; you tend to be catatonic and immobile, fretting over other people's opinions and feelings, instead of yours. You end up feeling comfortable with mediocrity, for as long as it is simple, safe and comfortable enough.

Life is too short to be fearful of failing. Didn't someone say before, "it is not how many times you fall that counts, it is how quickly you can rise up again?" or something like that.

I think the simplest way to live with this is to accept realistically, that Failure, is always an option. This does not mean that you are not going to be giving your challenges your best shot, or that you have reduced your competitiveness. For me it simply means, that there is a possibility that I can fail, so I plan ahead to avoid it. If I still fail nonetheless, I move on. I just know for a fact that whatever you try to do and however you try your damn best to do it, sometimes, things just don't work out. I will not beat myself up for my failures. Shit happens, to the best of us. If shit hasn't happened to you, you'll probably be in for a major enema. Damn, that's going to be tougher!

Failure does not define who you are. The world and its men can call you such, but believe me, it is not your identity.

Just dream on, be reckless, try on new things, do things that will make other people stop and think that you are actually, certifiably insane! Love with all you've got, don't hold back. It can probably cost you a lot, but who cares? Fail everyday! Embrace your frailty and move on. Live a little. Look at the "true" heroes and icons of the world, Vincent Van Gogh for instance, at some point people believed them to be deranged. They could be, but so what?

I follow Buddha's dictum: "The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows." So I choose to tread on and risk, failing and falling, but each time, rising with greater enthusiasm than before. So to life, mankind and the world, bring it on!

Sunday, January 22, 2012



This POST has been authored by someone else and was passed on to me by a very good friend. Frankly I have no idea who I need to acknowledge to give credit for such a hilarious piece, but honestly, it is too tempting to pass on, it's criminal to keep it stale on my Inbox. If you chance upon this post Mr./Ms. Author, give me a holler, it's a great list!

Meanwhile back at the ranch, go ahead, have a little chuckle.

1. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is. 

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind-of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers; I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds - 
eyes closed, first time, every time.

23. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

I don't know about you people, but #23 just takes the cake for me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Trouble With Hello Is Goodbye

It has been almost a full year, roughly, by the end of this month, when by forces of nature or fate or whatever you prefer to call it, that I chanced upon Google forum's THE COFFEE SHOP. The experience has so much influenced me that it was the first post I ever wrote on this Blog: The Day I Joined The Coffee Shop

January 2011 was a critical turning point in my life. My mother had an accident that required a total hip replacement surgery. As a consequence of worry and anxiety, this period started my many days, weeks, of sleeplessness, coming face to face with insomnia and my long-term love affair with the Internet-verse, Blogging and loving it. 

Perhaps most of you who read my Blog are part of this extended community in the Google-hood. And if you're not, damn shame, because whilst The Coffee Shop is still on its last stretch, how I wish you would catch it.  This is where in this virtual landscape, that I met the most incredible, diverse, interesting, wonderful, obnoxious, intolerable and lovable people that ever banged upon a keyboard! 

And then there's the Saturday Night Cafe' cum Bar cum Solace Nook. Where "souls" meet and sing and drink and dance or just pass through. Each soul carrying his own life stories; from the past, from the present and well into the future. A corner, practically a small dot in the Internet, where you get the chance to read about one's soul's search for meaning, relentless pursuit of true love, the start of a journey or the end of one, or simply, where one's soul speaks and another soul just listens.

Ay, there's the rub. You say goodbye, I say Hello. The thing about all good things and all bad things, they all come to pass. Pretty soon, if not right at this moment, the landscape will be changed. How things will turn out in the new landscape of virtual interaction is anybody's intelligent guess. Endings are commonplace, it's a given whenever there is a beginning. Some people would say it is the quality of the journey that counts not how it ended. Some people would say it is how you started your quest and why.

I prefer to keep whatever I have learned and built in the entire journey with me as I move on to the next, for very selfish reasons. I have met great friends and they will all be part of my life's treasures. And no one can take that away from me.

Someone did say something smart, sometime to somebody, "In the end we are all separate: our stories, no matter how similar, come to a fork and diverge. We are drawn to each other because of our similarities, but it is our differences that we must learn to respect." And this sums up my insightful experience in The Coffee Shop. 

American film director Orson Welles has a most logical quote about story endings: 
"If you want a happy ending, that depends of course, on where you stop your story."