On failure

Failure sucks. People who say otherwise never failed. But one should not be afraid of it. Having failed doesn’t mean you wasted your time or didn’t do something worth doing. In fact, the opposite is true. A lot of things worth doing are inherently hard and complex, and therefore have a higher chance of failing compared to easy and worthless things.

For the past three years, my partner and I worked on a company that had the goal to improve education. Recently, we came to the conclusion that there’s currently no good path to achieve our goals, so we stopped.

This is not a post about what we did wrong and could have done better from a business standpoint. That’s boring and already the subect of thousands of books.

This is more personal. After we shut the business down, we took some time off. Something that we haven’t done in the past three years, but probably should have. This gave me the opportunity to reflect. I now realize that I have learned a lot about myself, the world and society. I also realize that my personality, views and beliefs have changed during this time.

I want to highlight one aspect in this post. The most important one, I think.

Being myself and thinking for myself.

There’s so much shit out there that it is easy to get carried away. Of course, it’s important read and learn what others are saying to some extent. But in the end, I learned that I need to come to my own conclusions and take actions based on what I think is right for me and the situation.

For example, role models can be very inspring and something positive. Like many others, I look up to people like Elon Musk, Albert Einstein and others that have achieved great things. Often, I catch myself basing off decisions on how my role models did things. But I need to remember that I am not them. I’m a different person, in a different time and place, with different goals and with different weaknesses and strengths. It’s ok to get inspiration and motivation from role models, but I shouldn’t copy them.

More so, I think it’s important and healthy to question authority. Just because a person has achieved something amazing doesn’t mean it can’t be done any other way or done better. Neither does it mean that always do the right thing. I learned that it’s important to not see the world in black and white, but in shades of grey.

It’s more important to do things that feel right to me. There is no objective path to success and happiness.