TED Conversations

Caela Burrell

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

If you try to fail and you succeed, what have you accomplished?

This question reminds me about the liar paradox often discussed in Ancient Greece.

In my opinion, there are two possible contexts related to this question: You try to fail, and you succeed at failing. So in this sense, you have achieved success through failure. The other context is that you try to fail, and you fail to do so meaning you have succeeded. However, overall, you have achieved failure through success.

+3
Share:
progress indicator
  • Mar 24 2013: You've succeeded as a failure. Duh!

    Now get back to painting the walls in you parent's basement!
    [Please excuse my bad attempt at humor]
  • thumb
    Mar 19 2013: This is very interesting!

    I think in that case you have successfully failed in your mission. You originally set out to fail and you have achieved your goal (of failing). On the flip side, it means that you had a plan which is good becuase you can retrace your steps and know how you succeeded. You now what failure is and what leads to it. Therefore, in future you will know how to succeed with better results. But this is learning, the long and hard way.
  • Mar 26 2013: You may have accomplished accidental discovery.
  • Mar 23 2013: trying involves some effort and planning, so in either case you would have gained experience and hopefully be wiser for your next attempt at whatever it is to be.
  • Mar 16 2013: Nothing. It's all about one's intention,
    Even though it may sound unconvincing, fundamentally success depends on one's perspective.

    You fail to fail no matter what.
  • thumb
    Mar 16 2013: failure.
  • thumb
    Mar 16 2013: Life
  • thumb
    Mar 29 2013: You learn something ... always....
  • Mar 29 2013: Frankly I don't like questions about the concepts of success and failure. How do you know success?We never know the word unless we go through failure. That is, relation between success and failure close each other. To solutions to succeed or not to ways to fail doesn't matter what can be true. Appropriate things we have to do are simply trying to hard to just do plans with proud for you and continue to go.
  • thumb
    Mar 29 2013: You have succeeded in failing to succeed.
  • thumb
    Mar 29 2013: Success.

    Language can trick human mind easily in this case. If you try to do action 'A' and you succeed, it means that you've succeeded at 'A'. Action A being a desire to fail, if one would fail successfully, he would have succeeded in achieving his goal. At the same time, if one would fail at failing, he would have succeeded because of failing his goal, which is 'to fail'.
  • Mar 28 2013: If the question is meant in the first context mentioned then you have successfully failed and accomplished the purpose you set out to, whatever that was, that included you failing at this particular task. If we are answering the question in the second context listed, then you have just learned a new way to succeed at the task you endeavored to fail at. That seems like an accomplishment to me. Or maybe your simply infallible and couldn't fail if you tried.
  • Mar 26 2013: If you have to try to fail, it would mean that you have been successful in everything that you attempted prior to that. If that be true, you have never failed in anything, unless you tried to. And when you succeed in failing by attempting to, you would have achieved the near impossible, the ability to do anything you want. In other words you are God.
  • thumb
    Mar 26 2013: You have achieved success through failure, means you have learned from your experiences of failures and have succeed. You were never really trying to fail.
  • thumb
    Mar 23 2013: Winning or losing while fighting for something we really want to achieve means we always win. How could it be? Well, considering the simple detail that when we aren't stuck doing nothing or seeing life pass through our eyes, but we're doing something, we're gaining experience, changing concepts, becoming a better person (or not). We're on a continuous changing, and that changes are triggered by these actions of ours. Winning or losing? Just a matter of self concept.
  • Mar 23 2013: Huh? So thats your conclusion from what I stated in this conversation? I must sound like charlie browns teacher wah wah wah wah. You can understand and comprehend ones view without agreeing with it.... Your last comment assumes I'm religous or something. I don't know what gave you that idea..... Hmm...
  • Mar 22 2013: Wth....You guided you..... Its your choice.... We were just afforded this chance to be on this rock to make these decisions how ever many billions of years after the great enabler enabled it or do u think this is all just a lucky dice roll.......
  • Mar 22 2013: It is paradox because it has different criterion .It looks like that A is taller than B just as B is shorter than A.
    • Comment deleted

      • Mar 22 2013: Which one of them is true depens on the fact .What do you define the word "success" is the key to determine whether you are success or fail !
      • Mar 22 2013: We already determined that A is the tallest. All we know is C and B are shorter than A. I got $5 on C. Place ur bets! Spin the wheel.......
      • Mar 22 2013: This statement is certainly correct .This question is a waste of your being.Do you Love your Life?Is this statement beautifully correct?xxx
  • thumb
    Mar 21 2013: Why do you care about accomplishing anything when the goal was to fail? :)
    • Comment deleted

      • Mar 22 2013: Accomplishments are totally subjective. But really the only answer is they accomplished nothing.
    • Mar 22 2013: There could be a number of reasons to fail. Bring down the average? I bet what happened was they didn't bother reading the questions and blindly marked the multiple choice scantron and got hella lucky. Why else would somebody fail to fail. I swear I think I heard that happen one time................. nah...... But it could have.
  • Comment deleted

    • Mar 22 2013: To say god is good or evil is like saying nature is good or evil. It giveth and it taketh. Thats my god. From the one bacame the physical spiritual hybrid. Conscious light in physical form........at least thats how i could say it in my comic book. But it sounds like I'm just trying to sound cool. I could word it differently.but i do believe it.
      • Comment deleted

        • Mar 22 2013: God, I would say, is a collective of all things seen and unseen. The great enabler.
        • Mar 22 2013: We cannot answer all questions we raised!
          Capacity is one thing and logic is another thing!
      • Comment deleted

        • Mar 22 2013: exactly. thats why were here having this conversation. one who enabled all the consequential steps necessary for us to be here right now having this conversation. Justifying drug use or lack thereof is an adult decision and I would never judge or look down upon for ones own choices..... But yeah.... The great enabler.
      • Comment deleted

        • Mar 22 2013: Wth!....You guided you..... Its your choice.... We were just afforded this chance to be on this rock to make these decisions how ever many billions of years after the great enabler enabled it or do u think this is all just a lucky dice roll.......
    • Mar 22 2013: Or She gave her children infinite freedom to become infinitexxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Mar 20 2013: I haven't accomplished anything. That's my final answer........ unless a logical argument be made that states otherwise.
  • Mar 20 2013: The answer is nothing
  • thumb
    Mar 19 2013: Depends on what your goal is. Sometimes trying to fail, can be in your advantage, for instance when you don't want the job, but they want you on the job, you could try to praise someone on his abilities, so that way they choose him. To the outside world you failed, but you,...you succeeded in failing. Mission accomplished :)

    Then again, depends on the mindset. Negative-minded persons will try their best to fail, because they don't believe in their selves, so basically it's subconscious. There's a lack of self-confidence. In this case, there's nothing accomplished, it's just self-destruction.

    Accomplishing something implies, I believe, a willing action of oneself to achieve something, to work towards a goal. whether that be failing or succeeding.

    About the trying to fail and you fail to do so. It's a proof that language says nothing yet everything about reality... It has nothing to do with the outside world, but with our inner-way of thinking and creating.
  • Mar 19 2013: You have failed in your try. If you wanted to fail, and you succeed, which is not what you wanted, then you have failed right? So you have not accomplished anything!!!

    But in another way, you wanted to fail and you failed in succeeding, then you accomplished your goal because you at least failed in something.

    It's a very debatable topic! It is called a rhetorical question (a question that has no reasonable answer)!!!
    • Mar 20 2013: I don't think it is debatable. I came to the same conclusion. I think , unless proven otherwise, this logic is correct. This person isn't gonna take any failure. That would be a cheap way out and totally unsatisfying. I think were right.