First Or Second Type Failures

Currently, I’m making the same mistakes.

I’m dealing with my health, relationships, loneliness, failures, and finding joy. My health is concerning as last week the doctors placed me on beta-blockers (Metoprolol) as my standing heart rate is 155bpm. I’m also being tested again for Cancer. This scares me; I am alone, but I’ll survive if I stop making the same mistakes.

The more relevant subject is my views on failure. I feel I’m losing the race. I believe I’m good, but people can’t grasp it. I can’t comprehend it. Repeatedly I’ve been made to feel marginalized for putting my life on hold to help others. I wasn’t prepared for or thought it would be something I would deal with in 2022. Next, this sense I’m not as good as I once thought, and do others see it. This thinking is playing on my self-esteem, worth, and mental health.

I want to imagine that my failures are of the first kind, but I suspect my failures are of the second kind. This realization is a character test each of us faces on the road to knowledge. 90% of our failures encompass the second kind. It involves recognizing that fact. Today I’m humbled with disappointments and losses as they present themselves. I need to be better about keeping this second type in mind when triumphs come.

Our attitude, character and work ethic needs to be processed, not result-based. That can be exceptionally difficult to remember when everyone else is celebrating achievements. It’s challenging to rise up, and our natural tendency to exhale and soak up the praise being tossed our way once we’re there. But it’s this deep absorption of adoration that can easily lead to my second type of failure, which can come almost instantaneously. When we earn a prestigious award, win a big game, secure a significant deal, sure, let’s rejoice our efforts and appreciate all that it took to get there.

But let’s also think back on what is essential. Our health and relationships, and remembering that true mastery lies in realizing we’re not quite as good as we believe we are.

My health will come back, life will provide wins, relationships will heal, and I will find joy again in being Brian. It starts with taking responsibility.

—Brian Nadon


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