Im glad you failed at that thing

Arcade Futures
4 min readJun 9, 2024

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Failure feels amazing

I’m glad you failed at that thing you tried, the project you thought was going to take you to the next level; the project you started that you realized wasn’t actually for you. I’m glad you failed because when you failed at that thing you tried, you realized that now wasn’t precisely the right time for it.

Knowledge is what makes the human experience richer. By failing, you gained a new level of realization, and you should be happy that you came into your new level of understanding.

Antifragility is a concept developed by essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb that says truly robust mechanisms, people, or ideas can become stronger, more flexible, more durable, and more useful as they withstand pressure and challenges. This concept has been applied to physics, urban planning, engineering, business, and anywhere there are systems needed to work well and withstand unseen variables and chaos.

People often say that you must fail in order to succeed. But we rarely hear that failure is indeed success in itself; failure is, in fact, just a unique variant of success. Failure is a type of success but is not the ultimate form of success.

If one perishes from this earth, is that a failure? No, it is simply part of the human process. We should perceive failure in the same way. It is simply a part of the human process, and in some ways, like death itself, it can be perceived to be a great accomplishment. To pass on is to exit — to transcend. To fail is to understand.

We should not see failure as a failure, as if it is some alternative to success. Failure in itself is the very basis of any success. Failure is data, failure is testing, failure is growth, failure is becoming antifragile. Withstanding blows, becoming stronger, the muscle in the gym withstanding strain grows stronger. The human being and our history is like that.

“The antifragile loves randomness and uncertainty, which also means — crucially — a love of errors, a certain class of errors. Antifragility has a singular property of allowing us to deal with the unknown, to do things without understanding them — and do them well. Let me be more aggressive: we are largely better at doing than we are at thinking, thanks to antifragility. I’d rather be dumb and antifragile than extremely smart and fragile, any time.”

- Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Taleb, Nassim Nicholas

Keep going. As long as you’re genuinely pursuing an interest, hobby, or field of study and you are being humble in your learning — not learning to harm others or show yourself more knowledgeable than others — if you are learning to become a better person, then you should pursue those things which call out to you. Do not worry about focusing on only one thing if you are interested in many. Do not worry about being an expert in only one thing if many subjects call you. Just keep studying, keep exploring, keep learning, because various fields of study can actually help inform one another about the world. For example, philosophy and psychology are both very different subjects with a lot of interconnectedness regarding better understanding human nature and human experience; therefore, you can study both. Many, many subjects have intersections, so pursue them. The key is to not stop learning. Do not check out from the human mind and give up on pursuing deeper understanding about the world.

I think in cases where one needs a break, you should play games of creative strategy. Board games like chess could work well, and many video games can also work well. Within the games, there is a type of learning happening as well. Game-based learning (GBL) works because narratives, art, immersiveness through aesthetics, and challenges within games allow people to be motivated to learn, learning through the acquisition of the “language” or rules of the game.

Just by simply learning the rules of the game and how it’s played to achieve a favorable outcome is a tremendous learning endeavor in itself and may be a good break from other deep dives of learning and research about other things. The key is to not stop. Rest when you sleep, but in your waking life, continue learning. The world has been sold too much entertainment, too much passivity, too much sleepiness.

Instead, we should pursue that thing in life which helps us better understand our life.

Go forth!

Photo by Bastien Nvs

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