Success through failure

One of my goals for 2017 has been to read more. According to Pocket I have been in the top 1% of 'pockters' in both 2015 and 2016, but even if that's true (and I'm not entirely convinced it isn't just marketing stuff) what I'm reading are web articles, some long form, but mostly short form articles.

This isn't the kind of reading I want to focus on in 2017. I've got a list of (mostly) science fiction books I'm planning on reading this year.

I'm also listening to audio books through Audible during my commute to work. Those books are a little more varied in their content so far, and exclusively non-fiction.

But why does this matter? As I do I was reading an article on Isaac Asimov entitled Isaac Asimov: How to Never Run Out of Ideas Again – Personal Growth – Medium.

From the article 4 points really struck me:

  • Read widely. Follow your curiosity. Never stop investing in yourself.
  • Diversity is insurance of the mind.
  • We fail. We struggle. And that is why we succeed.
  • After all, never having ideas means never having to fail.

Although I had planned on reading more before having read the article, after reading it I'm even more dedicated to making sure I read as much as I can this year.

The last 2 points are also something I've been trying to work on. One of the reasons for this site is so I can showcase the ways in which I fail and what I am able to learn from those 'failures'.

The ideas that failure and struggle lead directly to success is something I'd never really connected, but I can see the connection between them now.

I like the idea that Isaac Asimov failed at things, but that they didn't prevent him from accomplishing those (and other) things.

This article really helped crystallize an idea that I've had a hard time putting into words …

Failing only happens when you don't try. Trying to do a thing and not achieving that thing is not failing, it's simply a different result than you expected. The success is in the trying.

I don't know if these are the best words, but as I'm learning, the success is in the trying, not in the perfection of the result.