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.

caffeine is not a goddess (on its own)

Caffeine affects people in different ways. For some, it heightens the senses, attention, and just about everything else. I’ve heard a surprising number claim that it makes them sleepy. For others, it has no effect at all, and personally, it makes me sick and jittery in high quantities. Caffeine coffee addicts might be tempted to think that caffeine is some sort of miracle that grants focus, but it’s not just the caffeine. It’s the way your body reacts to the caffeine.

In a similar way, even when two people seem to be in the same situation, they’re not. Biologically, they cannot be the same person, which makes them different at the very least on genetic level. But then add our experiences, our psychological state, our associations of that situation, and all bets are off. There’s no guarantee that the way we see things are 100% the whole truth, and most certainly that usually isn’t the case. Such as the way the symptoms of anxiousness and cues of dislike are similar, we can miss the intentions of other people. We can read ‘anger’ when there’s really only ‘uncomfortable’. We aren’t omniscient, and we can take comfort in that thought. Not-knowing keeps our lives interesting and meaningful in our journey to understanding more of it.

No situation is entirely equal because people are never exactly the same, and that means we can’t actually accurately compare ourselves to others without some sort of intensive scientific methodology. There will always be people who don’t like you. There will always be people you don’t like. There will always be a problem to grumble and be up in arms about, but that doesn’t mean you have to grumble and be up in arms about it. Our choices are important. We can be both positive and realistic.