the dumbest saying

There’s a phrase, “Failure isn’t an option”. This is one of the most frightful outlooks to have. It encourages a sort of rampant perfectionism: either you win or you fail completely and you’ve destroyed this whole thing.

What human never fails? It aims high, yes, but it also punishes whoever doesn’t reach a ridiculously high standard. We should all do our best, but the fact is, sometimes that best isn’t good enough to reach our goal. This runs counter to how people want to tell the tale, “Work hard and you’ll get there!”.

Not to be macabre, but effort can be useless if you don’t wield it effectively. For example, it doesn’t matter how many hours you play chess if you only play with three-year-olds. You’re not going to become a grandmaster chess player unless you’re also three and there happens to be a grandmaster chess player for three-year-olds.

Even if you set apart the time to work on something, and you put your heart and soul into it, people can still critique it. Furthermore, they can be right.

Failure is a natural part of life. Everyone fails, and I mean every single person who has ever existed. If failure isn’t an option, neither is success, because the choice doesn’t exist. Sometimes people mess up. Sometimes people are mean and selfish. Sometimes people try their best and it doesn’t get them where they want to be.

The key factor in this is the fact that: just because you fail doesn’t mean you won’t succeed again. We can learn from everything, and not taking the risk in the first place makes us miserable people. Sometimes we need to feel sad and confused because the circumstances are sad and confusing. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to be a bundle of joy and happiness, but it also isn’t guaranteed to be a horrible soggy mess of a day either.

Failure is always an option, but so is Success.

And in most situations? Those labels aren’t effective shows of what you’ve gained from the situation. Things are as they are. We mostly struggle in some parts and do well in others, but it’s a mixed, patchwork of results. That’s okay. Patchwork is what makes us real, live humans with purpose and meaning.

when 17/18ths of the buttons of the control panel of life are closed off

Many things are out of our control, to the point where we may think everything is sometimes. It isn’t. We influence the world just as the world influences us. We are not static beings in our environment, but rather dynamic individuals.

Having faith that things be okay is difficult, because honestly, sometimes things won’t. We’re not going to be able to succeed every time, or get the answer we want, or fulfill our responsibilities. Still, as the world throws obstacles and situations of all sorts at us, it’s important to remain calm. Know there is a chance you’ll fail, but also know that there is a chance you’ll succeed. Try anyways, for the things you know you must do. Maybe the problem will be too big for us to handle alone, but that’s okay, because we are never alone.

Failure is always an option that might occur. That’s okay. It’s a part of the natural waves and crests and troughs of life that we won’t feel or do our best every day. But no situation is so straightforward that you can count it as a 100% failure in the first place. We can learn from anything, take the good parts of any situation, grow from our confusion and struggles! Yes, many things are out of our control, but that doesn’t mean our actions and choices are pointless.

what do you do if you try and you totally suck?

The Room produced, directed, and starred by Tommy Wisseau, is a masterpiece film that is known as the greatest worst movie ever. The Room has absolutely horrid dialouge, random charcaters with no established relationship, entire plot points that don’t become resolved, and the acting is obscenely stiff yet over the top. As in, it is so horrible, it has its own cult that has lasted 15 years. I recently watched the Disaster Artist,  which is a liberal sort of reinactment of the making of The Room with James Franco. Something that really sticks out about the story they tell in The Disaster Artist, and which is amazing in the reflection upon history, is how our hopes can go completely in the opposite direction in real life.

No one sets out to make a horrible movie. No one wakes up and says to themselves, “Today, I’m going to get an F!” It doesn’t seem right. Theoretically we understand that some people are going to be at the top, most are going to be in the middle, and some are going to be in the bottom; it’s basic statistics, the standard bell curve has a bottom 10%. But we don’t like thinking about that. No one wants to be in the bottom. Most people don’t even want to he in the middle. The fact that we can really care and be in such a horrible state compared to others’ expectations is terrifying. 

The Room, however, offers an alternative. You might try really hard and end up in the bottom. You might fail miserably, but you will only fail miserably by that one standard. As a drama, The Room is a failure. As a cult comedy? Gold. We might never become the shiny dream we want to be, but what we can become is our own best self. Even if everyone was as talented as Albert Einstein, the world would be lacking the individuals who aren’t him, who can offer their own unique perspectives and life stories. You aren’t your heroes, but you can still become one yourself.