Paul Butzi |||

Going Too Far/Failure

There’s a fine line between perseverance and failure to accept reality.” — Tim Leatherman

Only those who will risk going too far can know how far one can go.” — T. S. Eliot

[^]“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” — Samuel Beckett

I understand the point Leatherman is trying to make, here, although I think he is expressing it the wrong way around.

I think there’s no distinct line between perseverance and failure to accept reality. I think there’s just this broad grey region.

When you’re in this grey region, it’s very hard to know if you just need to keep trying, or if you’re just failing to accept the reality that what you’re trying to do is permanently beyond your reach.

As Eliot suggests, you can’t know how far you can go without going deep into that zone of uncertainty. Some of the time, you’re out in this terra incognita and you fail. At that point the question is whether you failed because it’s beyond your reach, or if you failed because you were inadequately prepared in some way - you needed to learn something new, or you needed to train even harder, or longer.

This zone of uncertainty is weird. When you fail, the uncertainty doesn’t diminish, it intensifies. When you succeed, the zone gets smaller on the near side (you now know for certain that you can do whatever it was) but generally expands on the other side (new, previously obviously impossible’ things now fall in the zone of maybe I could pull this off’)

Up next Doing Hard Things Thinking more on my views on Brad Stulberg, I’ve noticed a semi-useful distinction that you can use to classify what I’ll call ‘Personal Development An Open Letter to Web Designers Look, I understand that the goal of most websites is to make money. I’m not opposed to commercialism. But you all are designing websites that are
Latest posts Antenna Lessons Part Three - Antenna Rigging Lessons from Antenna Hanging Part Two - Hardware Lessons from Antenna Hanging Part One Antenna Suspension Maintenance Improving NMO antenna magmount Get Home Bag/EDC Bag Mt. Si 50k 2023 Losing Weight -- Part Two: Mid Effort Results Losing Weight Part One Auto Mechanics, Tech Support, Doctors An Open Letter to Web Designers Going too far Doing Hard Things Starlink part II Cold Showers Running Headlamps Batteries and Preparedness SpaceX Starlink Flashlights First Aid Kits Statistics and Preparedness Aphorism for 2022 You Better Find Somebody to Love Lightweight Chainsaw Bars Covid Forgiveness Minimal Winlink VHF RMS Station Paypal And Acceptable Use Policies Bad Influence Friends Skills are better than stuff Stephen Park Cocodona 250 Finish Analog Thinking