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Thoughts on failure - John C. Kirk

Jun. 1st, 2011

12:15 am - Thoughts on failure

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Date:June 1st, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)


To pick up your GCSE language analogy: Suppose you decided to study a GCSE at college, registered, studied for one year faithfully, bought the books/did the homework etc. Then at the end of that year your college announced that they were dropping that subject and wouldn't be teaching it. And there was no other college in the area that taught that subject. You would (probably) have to drop that GCSE, at least at that time. Would that mean that you had failed? In one sense perhaps, but due to factors beyond your control that you couldn't realistically have foreseen. In another sense it is very different from dropping out of the class yourself because you a. couldn't cope or b. couldn't be bothered to keep up the work. (And this applies whether or not you picked it up again in the future.)

And if you want to think about achievements, what about your SJA work, which you've been doing faithfully for years. Although I will probably never do the LEJOG ride, and don't mean to diminish it in any way, the continual work on SJA seems more 'impressive' in one sense at least.

I don't know if these reflections are helpful, and I'm sure that they don't diminish the irritation or the loss. But maybe 'failure' isn't quite the right word. And, based on your last paragraph, your response shows that you aren't giving up (which, again, questions the 'failure' concept.)

Best wishes
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