Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Your Failure Is Not My Success

This is not a new idea but it's one that I confronted today. Someone else's failure is not my success. Now, yes, sometimes someone else's failure can be to your benefit. If you're taking a class graded on a curve, you want others to do poorly to boost your own grades. And even in classes that aren't graded on a curve, you are in competition with your fellow students. If you're applying for a job, someone's poor interview improves your chances of getting the job if your interview goes well. But someone else failing doesn't really make you any better. If you've failed a test and someone else fails a test then well, you've both failed. It could be that it was a badly designed test or the professor didn't do a good job of teaching the material but at the end of the day, you haven't succeeded because of someone else's failure. You still have to deal with your failure. And you still have everything in your life that you have to deal with. It might bring you a momentary bit of joy to know that someone has failed at something after criticizing your failure but at the end of the day, it doesn't erase your failure.

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