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Reflecting on Failure

A terribly effective method of avoiding success is to grade it based on a fiction. We desire to live in a world that is based on merit.  We often overlook that we don’t.

It’s a fiction to think the best team always wins. It’s a fantasy to think everything, or even most things, in life are fair. It’s a fantasy to think the best performance always wins or even gets immediate gratification.


Vincent Van Gogh is considered one of the greatest artists of all time. It’s a shame no one ever told him.  As many historians report, Van Gogh only sold one painting during his life – Red Vineyard at Arles. He never knew what would be his future recognition.

There is a truth from Van Gogh’s life worth remembering.  Did Van Gogh’s work only become great after he was dead?  Of course not.  We just didn’t see it.  It was great the whole time.  I wonder what would have happened to Van Gogh if he could have seen then – what we all see in him now. 

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