Tag Archives: brain

Why Your Biggest Failures Make You Suffer Too Much

Everybody can handle a small failure. If I lose a boss fight one too many times in a video game, my controller is likely to take a violent and irrational beating, but the loss will not cause me enduring emotional trauma or paralyze my ability to function afterward. The reason “small” failures are small though is that they come with minor and unambiguous consequences. The biggest failures we face in life come with a wide spectrum of negative consequences that all strike simultaneously, which in the process exacerbate each other so that the total anguish we feel actually becomes disproportionately high relative to the act of failure itself. This amplified anguish born from the intersections of separate types of negative consequences cannot be easily extinguished, specifically because of its ephemeral, comes-and-goes nature. What must be done instead then is to identify the individual threads of suffering that are created from major failures, so that when these threads intersect, we can rationalize the anguish we are feeling and ultimately overcome it. Read more