Depression; Idealism

January 12th, 2010 by ben Leave a reply »

Once again; I’m depressed.

Last week was very enjoyable — no real work to do, no tests at all (seriously), not much homework, and lots of sleep. Perhaps as a result of having taken the first week so easy, this week is a day at the beach… in hell. (It’s not very fun, because the water will have evaporated before you get there. They also conveniently don’t sell suntan lotion in hell.)

Normally, I would continue with a list of things that ruined my day today, but as per Ben standards, I have come up with a new postulate to live by. Come on, praise me.

Failure is, to be precise, honest, and to-the-point: disappointing. Defeat, not being able to achieve a goal after you’ve tried your hardest, done your best, spent your life’s energy on something… you merely can’t always win. Applying an earlier “Ben Theorem” to this: Anything can be accomplished with sheer willpower. However, even when you spend all your willpower on something, you can’t always succeed.

No, there is a different meaning to “trying your best” — the real amount of “sheer willpower” that humans can expend. This is the ability of humans to continue on. Generally. Of course, jumping off of a skyscraper will result in game over, but even so, just give the machine more coins and start over again.

Now, taking everything from this larger frame of reference — not the viewpoint of “winning or losing” one single battle, but the balance of the entire war — is failure really a setback?

I think the most efficient way of living life is to see every defeat as more knowledge gained. To see every victory as motivation to do even better. This impulse to accomplish more — this is the essence of human nature. There is no “giving it your best”. You can always do better.

A positive standpoint, seeing every situation in your life as self-improvement — this is the truth that can lead to happiness.

Where do human negative emotions come from? That’s right — we ourselves, we see things as they are, and then we form our own opinions on them. Something that happens to us is not necessarily “good” or “bad” — it simply depends on what we want to think of it as.

Having experienced a chain of numerous failures today has led me to this realization. The world really is quite cheerful, if you are cheerful enough. It’s great that I failed so much today — from those failures, I learned so many new things. The mistakes I made — now I will watch out for them, and will not make them again. The pain and shame I felt, that will push me to strive even harder next time. There is no success without failure; there is no event that cannot be interpreted positively.

I leave it at that. ■

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