The Importance of Failure

And To Admit Those Failures

If it’s in the subtitle, let’s start with admitting something right away: I didn’t
pass the exam for IPCV, being the lecture this semester, which I really liked and wrote multiple blog posts about.

Therefore I’ve been kind of down for a few days, which is, I think, understandable. And at first it was kind of hard for me to think about the importance of this failure.

But I coped with those feelings instead of running away from them, i.e. just distracting myself from them. And I have to admit that I usually distracted
myself, when I had a failure in the past. But you know… Dealing with
uncomfortable emotions is important. I bet some of you might be further than I am doing this. But it’s never to late to evolve your personality.

What’s The Importance Of Failure?

To come back to the title on might ask, what the importance of failure is.
And I think that right answer would be something along the lines, that you can learn from them. So what did I learn from my recent failure? Well… That my way of learning wasn’t suited for the exam. Instead of practicing the problems, we did during the semester, which I should have done, I tried to understand everything.
And I implemented a lot of the stuff, we did in this lecture in doing so 1.
I mean I learnt a lot… But I actually avoided practicing for what would be asked in exam, because it felt uncomfortable and boring to me.

Admitting that I didn’t do, what I should have done, isn’t easy. It would be
much easier to invent some kind of narrative, where I was unjustly rated or where just everything is stupid.
I mean… I would like tests to be different to be honest! But in this case, I failed. That’s the plain truth.

Anything Else?

On a further note I also think that failures and not successes are, what shape your personality the most. We all fail sometimes. That’s just in our nature as limited human beings. Of course there are humans, that are truly brilliant, but even they have to sleep and only have a limited amount of time.

So what you at lest can do is to claim your failure, instead of denying it and sort of make the best out of it.

And that’s actually pretty important, because if you just suppress your failures and the memories thereof, they will just come back and haunt you. And in the worst case you will do the same mistake over and over again, preventing you from evolving your personality in a new direction.

Trial And Error

Failures also always make me think of my vocational training, which I did many years before. I was trained as a biological technical assistant at the Chemistry school Dr. Erwin Elhardt… I had a really good time there and besides learning Molecular Biology I also learnt there how to organize myself… amongst many other things.
And I remember my favorite teacher there always telling is, that “trial and error” is what you’re doing in the laboratory. And in fact I think, that trial and error is something we’re doing all our lives. It’s one of the two big principles of learning… The other one being imitation. And it’s the way to go, when you’re faced with a new situation, where conventional wisdom fails.

That’s a picture of a young, long-haired me looking through a microscope. Credits for this picture go to my then teacher DrMartin Elhardt, who was one of the people that inspired me in becoming a hobby-photographer myself.

And that’s also actually the reason why I sometimes, in some posts in this blog first show a few mistakes I made or things I tried before I reached my final conclusion. So that you don’t have to do the same mistakes!
And also to show you, that I often don’t immediately get to the right conclusion.

Conclusion On Failures

So what’s left to say? Claim you failures for yourself and own them. Otherwise they will own you 2.

And for me personally I gotta learn for the re-exam for the IPCV lecture. 🙂
I have now about two months time and I already made kind of a fight plan.
If I have the time I’ll also make some blog posts about what I’m learning.
Not necessarily code, but maybe some howtos on typical problems from the lecture.
And I’ll definitely make blog posts about what I’ve already implemented. So overall I’m optimistic I’ll make it in the re-exam!

Have a nice evening!

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  1. Brace yourself for future image processing posts!
  2. This phrase is not entirely original. Googling it, I found the following TED Talk, which I watched some time ago and I think it kinda stuck with me. :)


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