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I wanted to write this quick blog-post to address a something that I find many people struggle to understand.
It is in regards to success and failure.
In Life, you can’t base your Success on whether you accomplish a feat on the first attempt or not.
This understanding of the concept is elementary.
Take for example Thomas Edison, it took him roughly 1,000 tries to successfully create a Light-bulb. Yet although he [Technically] failed 999 times in his attempt — if you you ask anyone today, everyone will unanimously agree that he did not fail.
This is because Success is not based upon how many attempts it takes us to accomplish a goal, instead it is based upon whether we are able to overcome the opposition long enough to accomplish the goal at all.
In the real world, whenever you attempt to do something GREAT, realistically speaking, you will have to fail along the way. That is just the way this Earth spins.
However those tiny failures are never TRUE failures unless you allow them to stop your pursuit.
In Programming and Systems Design, this experience is not known as “Failure” — instead it is called a “Feedback Loop”.
It is so called because it unvaryingly offers you valuable (and actionable) insight into how to achieve your goal by giving you understandable ‘output’ (results) as “Feedback” to your ‘input’ (actions).
Don’t worry, this sounds more complicated than it really is. In the next section we are going to take a real-life example.
Lets use a ‘Gumball Machine’ to explain a relatively simple concept that can fundamentally change your perception of the entire “Failure Vs Success” concept.
If you put a Quarter (which is input) into the Gumball-Machine (which is a system) and it gives you a Gumball (which is output)
— then apparently that quarter was enough to generate the result that you were looking for.
This is great in that we have now learned that in order to receive a piece of gum from this machine, all we have to do is insert a quarter.
However if you take another Quarter (input) and put it into a Soda Machine (system) you may or may not get the same result.
However for the sake of this example, lets assume that we have placed a quarter into a soda-machine and it sent us a message (output) that says “.35 more cent”
— will you walk away saying “I failed” or will you take the FEEDBACK that you’ve attained from your experience and come back .35 cents richer?
Most people will understand that it is nothing personal, the machine just needs more input in order to do its job. So in almost every case, the person will simply run back to their car (or ask a friend) for the excess input (money) to feed into the Soda-Machine system.
Likewise, every experience provides you with actionable insight into whether your efforts were enough to attain a specified result. However only those who SEE and utilize the Feedback that Life (system) gives them will be able to structure their efforts in order to attain anything they set their heart upon.
Are you failing in Life, or Are you simply gaining Feedback?