Friday, March 6, 2009

The Importance of Failure - 100th Post

Well... this is my 100th post since creating a blog. It's been a long ride, from part time work at a fast food restaurant to now, working as a professional in a key Federal Government agency.

I've learnt and experienced many new things during this period of time and the blog has played a critical role in allowing me to reflect on those experiences. I guess in many respects, making my 100th post on the topic of failure is perhaps interesting yet suitable.

As an individual, I've always been highly confident of my abilities to achieve things that I set my mind to. My determination (or stubbornness) and my attention to detail have never failed me. Yet today, something happened that should not have. I messed up the structure of my part of a presentation and made a gaffe in front of a group of key individuals.

This have made me reflect deeply about why it has occurred because presenting has always been my forte. After much thought and agony, I have come to realise that I took my abilities for granted and that they can only shine when I use them in unison. Due to my past positive experiences with presenting, my confidence rose to a level that I felt I could present without sufficient preparation. And what a wake up call it was. My pride, ego, misplaced confidence certainly took a major hit.

In the past, I've always made sure I clearly understood the material I am presenting and wrote them down in a logical and clear manner so I can follow it clearly when presenting. And I have always rehearsed at least once or twice. Today, I did little of this and I stuffed up.

However, my gaffe has made me realise the importance of failure. While I absolutely love the feeling of victory, failure are just equally important provided I view them as a lesson rather than a mistake. In particular, if the failure is a technical failure not an inherent failure.

Failure is inevitable in our lives. Failure is not something that I am accustomed to, whether it be big things or small things. But I have come to realise that failure is important because it can teach me new things and reinforce what I know but have come grown used to. By failing, I am in many ways succeeding. Of course this could be me rationalising but I do believe what I have said to a good degree. By failing, we can prevent other failures through learning.

To a lighter side of things, here some of pictures of me in my new home in the capital of Australia, Canberra. The stuffed toys are my war spoils in Canberra's Royal Show. They're a testament to my ability to shoot stars and water pistols haha!


Zhu said...

Good to see a success story! I remember the fast food experience when I first read your blog. Glad you made it to something higher that you like!

Amel's Realm said...

GREAT post and LOVE the pics. You look more mature than the last time I saw you. :-))))

Indeed failure is inevitable in life...but just like the Phoenix rises from its ashes, so have you. :-))) WELL DONE, friend!

Michelle said...

Hi Shan
I haven't been here in ages. Amel's spot on - you look way more mature in these new photos. Mature as in sort of more "self contained" as well.

My favourite quote is about failure. "If you have tried to do something and failed, you are vastly better off
than if you had tried to do nothing and succeeded."
~ Lloyd Jones ~

Now, the reason I'm here. I read a blog today and thought you might enjoy it...

Max said...

Hey Shan,

I am sorry to hear about your presentation...
I can tell you that it happens to everybody, man...what is important is: what have you retrieved from this mistake, and how you will act from now on? And it seems to me that you are in a pretty good track :D!

Failures, mistakes...all growth tools. No one, but no one goes through life without failing at least once. It is as part of life as it is pain. We cannot run away from it. Like it was said in "Matrix": "it is inevitable, Mr. Smith"

About your pictures: you look much better have become a man! You were always good looking, but you had this boyish look, but now...yes, have grown lol.
Oh, this is your new flat? You live in a nice place, man :D! Congrats!

And congratulations for your 100th post! :D

I wish you all the best, darling! You deserve it!


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Anonymous said...

Hey, Shan! Althrough your presentation seemed not perfect as you expected, the significance of this lesson could let you know more with regard to details and preparation. Take it easy~~ Have fun~~Good luck~~ Kevin

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