On Not Succeeding

I am guessing that this is possibly a recurring theme in my writings as it is in my head; if so, forgive me the monotony. You see, I am a lazy individual. I was not born that way, but the triumph of experience over common sense has made me so. I am your typical why-put-in-100%-when-70-works-equally-well-for-the-task-at-hand individual. (Had to stop for breath twice didn’t ya?) With time and challenges I’ve tested my abilities and have slowly reduced the 70% to any number you please; basically, the bare minimum that would get me by without tarnishing the (insert adjective of choice, if I do, I’ll just be damn conceited) track record.

Now this was a good system for a number of reasons, it allowed me to multi-task devoting fractions of energy, time and attention to the various tasks. Moreover it gave me the ultimate excuse, in those few times when I miscalculated things and injected an insufficient amount of effort, those times when I did not succeed (I refuse to use that other word). I could simply chalk it off to the honest “I wasn’t really trying”. Only you have to be really smart on how you go about this, or you might end up losing things you can’t quite afford to lose. Yet for all the expendable, temporary, or trivial, feel free to jump in, or zone out.

Now a wise woman once told me that my biggest problem is that I live unchallenged, and that this is because I go through life comfortable numb, happy with my refusal to try. I go through life not trying, that’s why I bore easy, that’s why I need bigger and bigger challenges to reach the same level of satisfaction. Think of an accomplishment junkie much like an adrenaline one.

Now, due to a number of reasons, the support of loved ones, the need to prove oneself, the need to impress, the desire to succeed, the need to apply what I’ve learned and the search for validation from higher authorities have led me to apply to the MIT Arab Business Plan competition. Few of you knew about this, now all of you can easily make out that my name does not appear on the short list. When I hit enter a month ago to an application form 3 month in the making, I had high hopes, even when I was told I was application number 1688. I had high hopes because I had tried. I had, for the first time in a very long time, given something 100%.

Thirty of those applicants were to make it to round 2, I had zero doubt. Odds of 1:52 were child play, it was for sure and we had it made. Yes I realize what an obnoxious snob I am but honestly couldn’t care less. Anyways, on the 23rd of February the results came out, we didn’t make it. Time stopped and for a duration of time I can’t quite quantify I sat staring at my monitor. I read and re-read the results, refusing to believe my eyes. Odds of 1:52 were suddenly tiny.

I had tried ladies and gents and had come up short. It was an entirely alien concept; a completely foreign sentiment. I was not indifferent. At the same time I was not disappointed in myself for not having tried or for having lost it. I lost, pure and simple. Why I lost is open to interpretation, but doesn’t really matter.


You see, I tried, and that in itself is a worthy take away.


6 thoughts on “On Not Succeeding

  1. Well, I know this sounds cliche, but I read this quote a couple of days ago, ” There are no failures– the f word, there are only experiences and your reactions to them.”

  2. A couple of days ago I was just telling one of the interns at our department
    ” It’s the effort that counts, not the results ”

    Sometimes our best isn’t just good enough. We are not gods, we are not superheroes we are just simple people with some other people who are better and give in more effort.

    Does this mean we quit…….. Hell Noo.

    It means that we learn and improve… we try and try and try………. Till we make it ………or admit it’s not ours.

    Then and only then, search for a new challenging case.

    And as I always say, The fun of hunting lies in the chase.

  3. Cliche as it may seem, it is good to not succeed every once in a while, it is like reminder to keep on working on your skills and talents, in a month you will not remember the annoyance you felt when you got the news, but you will remember that you could work on your business planning skills.

    If it makes a difference, I believe in you, and I know you’re more than capable to win it next time. Good luck!

  4. Pingback: On Losing « Ramblings of the Disoriented Mind

  5. Pingback: Impressed.. « Ramblings of the Disoriented Mind

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