My life is plagued by the pain of loss and failure, but in turn blessed by the gift of successes. I’ve always wondered how the power of the outcome of both my successes and failures compare, and whether or not one affects me more than the other.
I’ve obviously overcome my failures for the most part, because if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be sane or alive today. But it isn’t fair to say that my failures just disappear in the face of my successes, because often times I don’t feel as much pleasure from my successes as pain I feel from my failures. It’s hard to say whether the two are equal or not, because I tend to focus more on my failures than my successes, and they bog me down more than the successes help me up. Obviously, successes have an impact on life and the sense of achievement someone feels at different times in their life, but the question is how significant is that impact? Is it possible that the power of these successes is taking over the pain from the failures and helping us all to live just one more day?
I want to know how it’s possible that these successes, when in the moment they don’t feel as powerful as the failures, can be powerful enough to overcome or equal them. When I fail, I feel utterly lost and exhausted, as if I can never get back up onto my feet, but thus far I’ve never failed to do so. How is it possible that the impact of my successes is powerful enough to allow me to do that? Or is it something else that drives me and allows me to live another day? Is it not just my successes that allow me to overcome my failures? Is there another factor to it all that I’m completely missing or misunderstanding? If so, what is it, and why is that factor is powerful?
After some research, I found minimal details about the power of successes, and the lack of power that failures have later on in life. However, this most often depends on the person, “…the experience of success and failure does not depend upon the achievement as such, but rather upon the relation between the achievement and the person’s expectation” (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.2164-5892.1936.tb00275.x/abstract). Additionally, positive experiences are more likely to positively affect one’s life based on the resulting actions. The same source states, “…a person who has succeeded in a special activity will have a tendency to repeat that activity.”
However, often times when attitude is greatly affected, “…failure automatically distorts your perceptions of your goals and makes them seem more unattainable…they will paralyze you, demotivate you, and limit your likelihood of success going forward” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201501/10-surprising-facts-about-failure). The person itself is a great factor in deciding how life changes as a result of outcomes based on their decisions and actions. This, I think, is a very important lesson for every human, young and old, to learn.
Successes vs. Failures by Annie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.