Friday, December 1, 2017

Life Lessons and Wargaming: Failing to Succeed

Hey Everyone!  Today I will be continuing my series on "Life Lessons and Wargaming".  The point of this article series is to look at the little lessons we learn throughout life and how we can apply these to our Wargaming hobby.  In today's article, I will be exploring both the Success and Failure you will encounter while working toward your goal.  Expect to encounter both of these concepts as you grow and work towards your goals, but you must never let failure discourage you and never being afraid of success.

Even one of the greatest players of the NBA failed regularly

You might fail, but don't let that bother you all that much though.  Failing is part of life and we have all done it through our lives, usually in small and regular tasks.  While we accept these small moments of failure we typically don't take failing in larger goals and tasks as well as we do in the smaller ones.  However, in order to succeed we need to embrace our failure.  Failure is essential for us to grow and for us to gain knowledge to succeed.  Basically, when you are working toward a goal or task and fail you have learned one of the ways to not achieve that goal or task.

While failure is simply a step in the process of success it is often where most people simply give up believing that this single failure is the end.  They give up despite that fact knowledge has been gained and they are closer to succeeding in their goal or task.  Let's look at an example common in our hobby to explore success and failure a bit more.  You have set yourself the task of winning a gold medal at a painting competition.  This specific goal will alter based on if it is a Local Competition, a National Competition, or even a Global Competition, but the concepts are the same as the concepts are universal toward any goal you set for yourself in life.

There is a painting competition coming up in a few months or so and you set to work, or have been hard at work, on a piece for the competition.  You may have been painting for years or perhaps only a very short while, but you are pouring hours and hours into your piece using all the skills you have accumulated.  Now to get to the level where one feels comfortable in submitting a piece for judging would typically mean they have painted many figures to practice techniques and most likely are considered failures as they work to perfect the technique they are practicing.

However, they should not be considered failures as they each model, each brushstroke has helped to get the technique right that will be used in a competition piece.  I should take a moment to acknowledge the fact that I have never met a competition painter who views their models this way because they are viewed as a step in their process.  These are small steps in the process to our goal of winning a painting competition and are usually viewed as such, but how would not winning the competition be viewed?

It is likely that something that has had, potentially hundreds, of hours put into it would become a source of pride and attachment, which seems totally normal.  The piece is submitted at the painting competition and after a stressful time waiting the result is revealed.  The piece lost and it didn't even receive a finalist pin, which at a lot of higher level events is a win in and of itself.  You failed, there is no way to sugar coat the fact you failed at your goal.  There are two choices after your failure.  Give up on competition, or realize that your failure could be the catalyst for your future success.

The piece might have failed this competition and could possibly succeed in another competition.  What the piece has done is taught you what might not work for the competition, assuming you requested feedback and looked into the detail about the pieces that did win.  You only gained this knowledge by failing your goal, not by succeeding.  If you had won gold in your first competition you might not have asked how to improve and while you accomplished your goal you are ultimately failing at improving for the next event.

Don't be afraid to fail, embrace it when it happens.  I am not advising purposing failing as that is completely counterintuitive to success.  When you do fail, though, don't hide from it, be happy that you have taken another step toward the success of your goal.  Changing how your mind views failure will only help you on your way to succeeding your goals.  Until next week, Happy Hobbying.