Don’t give up entirely

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

Have you wondered why we all say “Don’t give up”? I have ditched “don’t give up” mentality couple of years ago, instead I have filled myself with “when seeing a sign, please act”. So essentially I only stick to my old gun quite rarely. But I still agree with common notion here, because I firmly believe giving up entirely is a bad choice.

Whatever game you are involved yourself with, in the short run, it’s always the statistics in nature. In the long run, your results will get better, but if you just look at your current week performance, it’s still chaotic. People might use an average to quantify their performance in a god’s eye; but for yourself, you could get too happy about a good one-time result and too unhappy about a one-time bad result. We are all human. We can’t get our emotion out of the game, to be honest, that is why it drags us into the game at the first place. But sooner or later, especially if you want to make a living on something, you need to understand, the results can be just random, including your success or your failure.

Don’t give up for now

So what does the above mean to each of us? It means, if you fail miserably at this moment, you shouldn’t give up right away. Because that incidence is pure random, of course it can be due to one of your error behavior, but that doesn’t mean you are going to keep running into that behavior constantly. You had a bad run, that’s all. We should retrospect a bit, not too much, just a bit, and then move to the next run. According to the random theory that I outlined above, you might get lucky in the next run. Sorry, you might. The good news is that the chance you get unlucky goes lower.

When I say don’t give up, I didn’t mean do exactly what you have done once again. Adjustment is required, unless you want to reproduce the previous run. Try something a bit different, get some fresh air, and it can be a entirely different run. If the new run turns out to be good, then your results will be averaged out. We are not betting on this, just to be a bit more optimistic thinking.

Please don’t go all in. People can do stupid thing when they are angry. You can see people could be sticking their heads in the same direction under same environment condition with full strength. This is suicidal. Just don’t ever think of that path if you still think you are worthwhile. Maybe that’s the point. Don’t ever underestimate your worth. If you have the doubt, please check the market, it can correct your thinking quickly once you talk to some other people in the real world. Trust me, don’t go all in, don’t double down. Just try another run.

Keep the knowledge with yourself

I mentioned what we shouldn’t do, but what should we do in those failure situations? My advice, keep it to yourself and move on with your regular schedule. If you really have time, learn from it deliberately. But my experience told me, I’ll learn from it anyway, not by my will. Because I hate failure, and I don’t like to experience the same exact failure next time unless I’m so bored and crazy.

People tend to look for the sign of failure. This path itself is illusional. Because to me, the sign of failure is failure itself. If you are experiencing the failure, then you are seeing the sign of failure, considering I’m normally relatively on the front-line. So we don’t need to spend too much time preventing the failure next time. If you ever produced all the exact conditions as last time, you are doomed to fail; but who the heck will be able to do that anyway? Let’s move on, shall we?

The knowledge you learned from the failure experience, and how you pull yourself out of the shit hole is quite valuable instead. Because this expands your reservoir of all possible outcomes from your life experiments. People tend to get scared because they never see certain things. But if you have already see it, the next time it’ll get a lot less scary. And if you are smart, you probably have already prepared something before that happens next time. This is human instinct. We don’t want to get killed for no reason.

Summary

My point of “Don’t give up” does not lie in the common mentality of fighting it through. Instead, if you give up entirely, it can jeopardize your past efforts, reduce your gain/cost ratio and even put yourself in high risk since you might be already looking at your best option. My treatment of the “give-up” is to move on and try it again with slightly different inputs, considering you are one of the element of this experiment. You will learn naturally eventually. For now, don’t give up, don’t double down, don’t go all in, just move on. Remember, you want to preserve the capital at all time at all time, this is especially important at the bad time.

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#OpenToWork Front-end Engineer, book author of “Designing React Hooks the Right Way” sold at Amazon.

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Fang Jin

#OpenToWork Front-end Engineer, book author of “Designing React Hooks the Right Way” sold at Amazon.