Home » Blogging » Evaluation » If you don’t fail at least 90 percent of the time, you’re Not Aiming High Enough. –Alan Curtis Kay

If you don’t fail at least 90 percent of the time, you’re Not Aiming High Enough. –Alan Curtis Kay

    Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not one to walk around spewing quotes.  That’s because I keep them in. Sort of like a core set of “Rules” that shape my actions. I may not memorize the quote word for word, nor may I be able to tell you who said it, but they have a profound impact on my modus operandi nonetheless.

  I’ve equated it to programming code when trying to describe this to my friends. You can try and write code all day long, but if you don’t use the right functions (Disclaimer: The last thing I coded was in QBasic, so I may be butchering my analogy here. ;P ) you won’t get results. Typing “Make a Window with two panes.” won’t get you anywhere. As such hearing someone say, “Don’t be afraid to fail” doesn’t really cut it. For me that comes with an assumption that one’s reluctance to try harder/extend oneself is based one an internal concern over failure. That being untrue, I immediately discard the valid portion of the statement, “that you should extend yourself” (Subconsciously. What I really need is a “Code” to open “that” guy up… 😛 ) and in turn get nothing from it.

  Now this cute little quote though is something else altogether. It not only removes failure as an obstacle in it’s “Advice”, but actually includes it as a requirement in one’s actions. And that’s what I need. It’s kind of odd acknowledging a "Weakness" in being primarily successful at most of what you do… but think about it this way.

  If you’re constantly successful, that means that either you’re not working with stakes that balance your skillset well enough, or you’re some kind of luck master. Some people will tell you that "Careful Planning and Execution" is all it takes to be successful. Some people will also tell you that they can talk to your dead relatives and tell you things from beyond this life. What you choose to believe is entirely up to you. I don’t think my great grandparents can communicate with me any more than I think that "Careful Planning and Execution" is "All it takes". I feel that I’m living proof of that. I’ve always carefully planned, and executed with precision, and while I’ve not failed at the things I set out to do, I’ve not achieved something I’d call "Success" either.

  There you have the real root of it. What would you consider "Success"? That’s a personal question really. For some, success might be paying the bills, and raising a happy child. While other may not consider themselves successful until they’ve carved a place for themselves out of this world that will outlast them. My personal definition of success involves creation, be it written work, games, or something else. Thus far, I achieved what I’ve set out to achieve, but I’ve not really "Created" anything. At least not at a level that I would consider successful. I know that the main reason for this is my getting side tracked by "Conventional" definitions of success, but now it’s time to let go of that, and start failing.

NOTE: There are several threads that I’ve only lightly touched upon here, but this is more a rambling response piece upon hearing that quote. I could take several of these subjects out for a jaunt  in their own blog posts, and who knows, I might. ;P

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