Failure IS an Option (and can actually be a good thing)

This show centers mostly on design, but I think can be considered in light of training.

As a perfectionist by nature, failing is something I personally struggled with for decades. But now I recognize that failures, or falling short of goals, often give the best opportunity to learn and grow. Succeeding (winning) is great, but is not necessarily valuable in future endeavors unless we understand the underlying reasons that success was possible.

Experiencing AND understanding failures in life are things that should be embraced, not avoided (my old mentality). Thinking about it WRT to training here, bombing on a workout, messing up nutrition, not resting enough, and countless other examples are those opportunities for us to try and learn to improve on future efforts.

Anyway, as a fellow product designer and tinkerer, I really enjoyed the show. It helps frame what some of us do in “wasting” our time on designs that fail again and again (with hopes of getting one that actually works down the line :wink: )


Even tho I know exactly what you mean, and realize that as a non pro, it doesn’t matter, and no one gives a shit, I still struggle with getting into the “who gives a fuck about you not making a sub 3 marathon, bruh” mentality…


hopefully age will help me get to that state

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Some of this relates heavily to goals. That is a massive topic on it’s own, with the whole internal vs external side and much more there. We all place value on a range of things in this space, our performance among them.

Missing a goal like you mention is a possibility anytime we line up for an event or personal challenge. Even stepping into that as a process should be considered positive, IMO. Aiming for and nailing a goal, even aggressive ones can be motivation and help up through those tough moments and such.

But it’s beneficial to consider perspective and actual outcome from making or missing those too. As you mention, many of the goals we are chasing here matter little to anyone but ourselves. Ribbons, medals, acclaim are fun, but rarely yield long term satisfaction, again in my experience.

WRT training, I have grown to love the process, routine and having some great fitness to play with on rides. I love a great finish like anyone, but try not to beat myself up if I don’t meet some goals. At 47yo now, I sure look at that stuff different than 20 years ago. Age is part of that for me, but also many other unrelated things in life that show my personal training as good for me from a mental and physical perspective.

My personal take is these things are only “bad” if we fail to try to learn / change / grow from reviewing them.


I don’t think chad is suggesting flippancy. He is just saying that a large failure yields more actionable information then a small success. You could prove it mathematically (e.g. to avoid getting stuck in local minima and so on).


I guess I was also trying to add is that I cant still get around the fact that although I understand failure as a learning opportunity, I don’t like it as an option. My problem mostly is that I can’t get me head around the fact that absolutely no one cares about an slightly better than average runner and that anything that I accomplished is personal and will not affect anyone but me.

I think I am finally getting around that… Hopefully in a few years I will get to the right mentality.

This is a great article about failure, and how and why to embrace it. Fighter pilot debriefs are about the failures in your most recent flight. Success, while noted, is a given. Like all the posters in this thread have acknowledged, the gains come from the failures.

tl;dr - failure benefits the most demanding of us.

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