TED talk of the week 7-14

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John Wooden - On the difference between winning and success
Wooden's got an old-school style, no power-point or anything fancy. And he's an old dude who can quote nearly everything, so his storytelling is really, really cool to watch.
Message-wise, his point is quite simple: if, in the process of doing an activity, you have given it everything you could, then you have found success, regardless of the outcome.
I'm curious to everyone's thoughts on this. There is a personal truth here, of course, but sometimes giving it your all and failing miserably can be extremely demoralizing, and sometimes you might cut corners to get that external 'win.' Is taking a prinicipled stance on something like this possible in life, or is it an ideal to strive toward?

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Posts: 329

I wouldn't say that you've found success just by giving something your all. Trying really hard at something and failing isn't a success, it's just a failure.
The success comes from what you do AFTER that. If you give up and never try again, then there is no success. If you take that failure, analyze it, and turn it into something actionable that you can learn from and move on, then you have succeeded.
It's like the George Patton quote, "I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs, but by how high he bounces when he hits bottom."

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Posts: 1371
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

I agree with Seth.
However it made me think about something I heard a few years ago "Il vaut mieux avoir des regrets que des remords" ("Better having regrets than remorse" i guess).
It's somewhat close to what John Wooden's point. If you don't try to do what you want it'll haunt you. If you tried, at least you tried and you have done something, even if it's a failure. I believe a failure - as demoralizing it is - is still better than nothing.
In other words i don't think the "success" in a failure is the same as a complete success, but it is still something.

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Posts: 1831
Location: Bordeaux, France

True. Doing nothing at all is a guaranteed failure! "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take," as they say in Basketball Land.

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Posts: 1371
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

As they should say everywhere

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Posts: 1831
Location: Bordeaux, France

The emPHAsis here is how we should measure success. Many folks have a narrow view of what personal success is, and if we widen the scope to the experience rather than just the end result we'd all be better for it.

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