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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

History vs Hope? Learning From the Past

I am in the process of quitting my job...gave my two week notice, yesterday.  Odd way to start off this blog?  Well, actually, it inspired it a little.  I won't go into details of the company or their failures.  However, the part that is directly related to this article is my failure to make my decisions on FACTS or HISTORY but relied upon unfounded hope.

It is not the first time that I have made this mistake, and it probably won't be the last.  However, I CAN say that I am getting better at it.  When I was at IBM, years ago, I remember a public training video about their artificial intelligence program called Watson in which the creators of it said that they taught watson to learn as we learn in that it not only learned from successes but that it learned from the failures, as well, and didn't repeat them.  I remember, after that video, thinking about that and saying with a laugh that I wish I was more like a "human" in that case, because I spent too much time re-visiting the same errors.  It took me a LONG time to finally divorce my ex, and the longest part of that was spent in repeated failures to get what I needed to be happy, all the while trusting my hope that it would improve over the history that she had given me.  I don't expect that I am alone in that type of failure.

This has been present in the job that I am leaving.  Indeed, when I TOOK the job, they told me of the challenges of the business and how little they knew of how to fix them.  However, I HOPED that this would change and that I would be able to create something out of nothing...without any knowledge of what that would be or how I would get there.  Well, of course I could not do that.  It was a foolish and prideful assumption to believe that I could solve what a room of those with more experience and less  resources had solved to that point with no factual basis upon which to base that hope.  The end conclusion is exhaustion, failure, and depression, and that final state describes...I believe... EVERY failed relationship that was based on hope over facts.

History is king.  History is not the enemy of hope, and it shouldn't really BE a question of if you rely upon history or hope.  Indeed, history is the only BASIS of hope of outcomes or options.  But, you don't have history, until you try.  So, you launch out with a plan.  You assess how it worked and where it failed, ....LEARN and try again.  Henry Ford said, "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently," but that is not true, if you refuse to listen to the lesson.  Tonight, my TV time with my love was The Edge of Tomorrow, where Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt play in a scifi movie, where Tom Cruise has been given a gift in a battle with an alien of being able to re-set the day, each time he died, and apply the lessons he learned to the next attempt at living it.  A fitting movie for me to watch, as it turns out with this blog.

So, if there is a lesson I would have you take from this blog, it would be this.  Don't base your hope upon your desire for something to be true, and don't accept the words of anyone (whether a relationship partner or boss or even President) as to how it will be or how it will improve.  Words are kinda irrelevant.  If they are true, they are unnecessary, because the actions will prove the change, and if they are not true, they only deepen the wound.  So, whatever you desire...and I do want you to follow your desire...stay aware of not only the goals but the road or vehicle you are in to take you there, always watching to see if it will END with your desire or a waste of time.  If it is the second, cut your losses and redeem as much of the time to invest in a truly happy future.

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