Failing Faster

2 minute read

That’s not pessimism talking. A long time ago, an Extra Credits episode introduced me to the idea. It’s an idea that really resonates with me because I feel that it identifies my greatest flaw.

The video uses the term in the context of design but I think that it can apply more broadly than that. It applies to life too.

I really don’t know when to quit. Perhaps I don’t really know how. Maybe put it down to my Aspie tendencies. In a way, it’s been the story of my life.

Failing faster could mean I’ll get more done. Determination in following a particular path can be a good thing, and the trait has served me well… but when it goes too far, it becomes tunnel vision and isolation.

I’ve been living with CFS/ME for about 10 years now. Awareness of the condition is better now but I’d rather have a cure. Although I suppose Stuart Murdoch of the band Belle and Sebastian, has a point: “It would be a miracle to actually find out what is going on… We can talk about a cure later.”

This whole time I’ve been trying to finish my degree but the illness has made it impossible. I’ve gone and done other things in that time but I’ve always gone back to trying to study and finish what I started. However, it’s clearly not working. I know I need to try a different approach. But what to do?

I wonder how much more I might have achieved if I’d been less myopic.

Thinking about the more immediate future, hopefully, I manage to secure that internship I applied for. It’ll be closer towards what I had wanted for a career and so be preferable to a retail job. I got through the initial sift and have a video interview next.

Whatever I decide to do, I may have to finish off the degree at some point but maybe it doesn’t have to be so immediate a priority. There were reasons/circumstances, and not just blind determination, behind why I stuck with it for as long as I did. The short version is that the degree was Plan A, and I was already too far along to be able to back out. The only way out is through. Switching to an apprenticeship was a potential Plan B but due to the work I’ve already put into the degree, I’m technically overqualified. I plan to keep monitoring that situation as I’d be really keen to get onto an apprenticeship if I can, assuming I don’t manage something better.

Or perhaps maybe I can find happiness and success in pursuing a career doing something else other than my first ambition. At least then I would be moving on with my life instead of being stuck in this purgatory.