Who am I? What am I? Where am I? Where am I headed to? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea. A cynic, an idealist, a person with ideas, but NATO. Am I? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Acrobatic Act

for those of you who, for one reason or another, were listening to 92.4 today at 3pm, you would have heard a story which was originally in Mandarin. i now, very roughly, translate it:

at the end of this circus show, the ringmaster said that the acrobat, to thank the audience for their support, will do one last super high difficulty stunt. and so he flipped and twirled in the air, but missed the trapeze. fortunately for him, he had a safety net, so he didn't get smashed into little bits and pieces. he picked himself up and told the audience that he would try again. the audience cheered him on. the second time round, he twirled and spun, flipped and somersaulted and he managed to grab the trapeze. the audience roared with approval.

now it turned out that the acrobat planned to fail in the first attempt. the protaganist, who was one of the people in the audience, said that not only did he not feel cheated by this, he felt that it reflected life. because it is analagous to how failure is the mother of success in life. how a previous failure makes a present success all the sweeter.

i don't know about you. but the cynic in me see it in a completely different wayi see it this way: if you have failed before, people's expectations of you are lower. and so when you have a minor success, people celebrate it more. so it is about managing expectations. if anything, the story of the acrobat tells us that we should keep a low profile (i.e. plan to fail), so that when it really matters, we can succeed and our success would seem extremely spectacular.

problem with this trick is that it probably would only work once. so one must learn to use it wisely, strike only at the opportune and most critical moment.


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