Does Failure and Doubt = Bad?
I recently came across the most interesting article I’ve read in a while. Coming from a philosophical angle, it talked about our cultural distaste for doubt and failure. The author used Socrates as a reference to our rejection of human flaws- that has ultimately led to our dissatisfaction with, well almost everything from politics to economics to society. It got me thinking about the dangers of fearing doubt and uncertainty, and what effect this is having on our everyday lives.
Looking back on the turbulent noughties, there has been a string of errors made by influential people and organisations, that has affected us all the more personally due to our ever-growing global connectedness. These days- an error can never be private- meaning that every time a decision maker over-promises and under-delivers, our faith and trust is eroded all the more. We could take the Lehman crisis as a case in point, or infinite political boobs and disappointments that have plagued UK politics. Interestingly, the fear of failure, of being discovered to have set expectations too high, leads the individual to take greater risks by further burying their uncertainty and doubt.The phrase the bigger they are, the harder they fall becomes ever more poignant (remember Clinton)
Does the rejection of doubt, uncertainty and ultimately humanity, therefore mean that we fail at being good humans? Modern day life after all demands black and white opinions, newspapers feed off it, meaning that we set ourselves up to be disappointed by each other. It even got me asking about our entrepreneurial culture in Britain, why when the Americans expect to fail before owning a business success, we have a cultural fear of it? Maybe we should accept that it’s good to be good enough, so everyone else can feel good about it too (avoiding the apportioning of blame we seem to be hooked on). This might even empower others to pioneer the change and become leaders themselves. Just a Thursday Thought.