Thursday Nov 08, 2007

3. Get to the Point: Sometime, success is bad

    I delivered  my third speech in Toastermaster two months ago. I forgot to put it in my blog. So, here it is.


    Our society places so much emphasis on "making it", and we assume that any failure is bad. We try our best to avoid failure in our daily life. Is failure really so bad for us? No, what we don't always recognize is that what looks like failure may prove beneficial in the future. On the contrary, some times success can be destructive for us in long run.

    The danger of too early success is particularly acute. I recall from my childhood, a girl who can write perfect calligraphy of China when she is primary school student. While the rest of us were playing, bicycling and reading, she practise calligraphy everyday after school and all the weekend. Her name often appeared in the papers and radio in our school, and the rest of us envied her glamorous life. Years later, she failed to pass the examination of collage. She spoke bitterly of those early triumphs. “I never prepared myself for anything, but calligraphy of china.” Too earlier success block her step to bigger goal.

    Success that comes too easily is also damaged. One of my high middle school classmates, who always is the top student in our class. He is a talent in the eyes of his parents and us. After entering the collage, he faced the competition which he has never run into before. He doesn't stand head and shoulders above others anymore. He was not excellent as he used to anymore. He was disappointment and annoyed with his situation. He paid more his attention on score and the others opinion, but the collage work itself. He lost his way. Too easy success cover his mind to overcome difficulty in the future of his life.

    Success is also harmful when it is achieved at the cost of total quality of an experience. Successful student sometimes become so obsessed with grades that they never enjoy their school years. They are never branch out into attempting new areas, because they don't want to risk their grade-point average. Success which encourage repetition of old behaviors, is not nearly as good a teacher as failure. You can learn from a mess party how to organize it next time, from an ill-chosen book what to look for in a second. Even a failure that seems totally can prompt fresh thinking, a total change of your dream. Let's think over the story about Wu Wang Fuchai and Yue wang Goujian.

    Observing the histories all over the world. Thousands of stories told us this truth. Failure is not always bad as we thought it is. Meanwhile, success is not always good as we expected. In particular, it comes too early and too easy.

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