How failure points you in the right direction
In life and at work, failure is inevitable.
What keeps me going is the mindset that failure is sometimes life's way of pointing you in the right direction to fulfil your 'glorious purpose'.
One example we can learn from is Tom Hiddleston.
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was an unexpectedly huge draw since he first appeared in 2011’s Thor.
What many do not know is that Hiddleston never auditioned to play Loki. Instead, he auditioned for month to play the main character, Thor.
The actor went so far as to train rigorously for the role, and did a screen test with blonde hair and Mjolnir.
While Hiddleston failed in his audition and was given a supporting role of Loki instead, he did spectacularly well and gave it his best shot.
This turned out to be an amazing move for both his career and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As Director Kenneth Branagh, who cast Hiddleston as Loki in the first Thor film, describes him:
As I reflect on my own life, I too recall a "Tom Hiddleston" moment.
I interviewed for Uber and went through 5 rounds in 2015. Thankfully I did not get the role as they exited Southeast Asia soon after. Not landing a role in policy or marketing also meant I would be guided down the pathway of selling software.
Similarly, I could not land a role in Hong Kong after graduation. However, staying in Singapore was also better for my career than Hong Kong given the unrest that happened after that.
When dealing with failure, what I've found helpful are these three things
1. Be open to experience and what life has to bring you, don't stay overly fixated on one option. Failure is a redirection. It shows you where you shouldn't be. Failure is an opportunity.
2. Do your best at every opportunity and even if you may not get the one that you want, your good attitude and good will will lead you to others
3. Always focus on learning. Otherwise, you would just make the same bad decision when the situation occurs again. If we do not learn from our mistakes, life has a way of teaching it to us again and again.
Hope this post is useful for anyone going through a failure in their professional and personal life.
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Curious, what was one failure in your life that pointed you in the right direction?
Loki strutting down a dark alley like it's a runway & unbuttoning his jacket... he had no reason to look that fine! #LokiS2 #Loki
— 𝗠𝗝 (@gremlinseesaw)
Oct 14, 2023
Worklife balance vs Worklife integration
My friend who is a principal at a large consultancy firm shared with me that there seems to be a focus on work-life balance among the younger generation.
Many people want to end work on time and try to leave on the dot.
He recalled a time where he and his partner were the only ones left in the office trying to finish a deck.
This should not be the way in a big four consultancy firm, he lamented.
I do not feel there is anything wrong with the approach above.
If work is simply a place for you to earn money and go home, and you do not have much ambition, it makes sense to be transactional about everything.
However, I personally subscribe to worklife integration instead of strict lines around work and play.
Rather than drawing lines between ‘personal time’ and ‘work time,’ I tackle my responsibilities at the times that work best for me. I would some times complete work tasks during personal hours —and vice versa.
There are many benefits to this approach
1. I feel it is fair
If I shop online or go for medical check up during work hours, surely I can update a spreadsheet or complete a compulsory course over the weekend.
2. Build trust by being in the trenches
In crisis time, that is when bonds and trusts are being built. As someone not super senior in my career, I feel it is important to be in the trenches together with my superior and also customers when required. Physical presence is key. This will help me maximize learning and build trust and rapport through going through challenges together.
3. Having drive and ambition
I want to achieve bigger things here. This requires being all-in and 9-6 would not cut it. If I want to earn at a certain level and achieve at a certain level, I cannot live like everyone else and then expect the same outcome
Some may see work as “suffering” but in my perspective, I feel like I am passionate about what I do and have a greater purpose.
Furthermore, everything I do really benefits myself in the end - reputation; skills, knowledge and achievements. Working to me is really one aspect of my personal growth - which I take seriously.
5. Spending time more meaningfully
I feel like this way of living actually cultivates a greater appreciation for time.
I am more strict about my time and try to spend it on the activities that generate the most happiness for me or that are aligned to my goals.
I am deliberate about what kind of people I want to be closer to or meet with. I prioritize internally and know who I will say no to and who I will say yes to when it comes to allocating my time.
Finally, as time is scarce, I am always present.
I will send someone a calendar invite to block out the time that I’ve reserved for them. During this time when I block out, I almost never use my devices or think about work. They get my 100 percent attention.
While work life integration has worked super well for me, I understand that this model might not work for everyone as well.
Photo of SBF — Credit: Lam Yik | Bloomberg | Getty Images
What should you do if you encounter something unethical at work?
You join a startup as a software engineer. Get promoted to director of engineering.
Then you learn that the company is doing something fraudulent. What do you do?
Hopefully, not this:
At cryptocurrency exchange FTX, an engineering director got direct evidence in September 2022 that there was almost certainly fraud happening: that Alameda Research (a separate hedge fund from FTX) had taken customer funds from FTX and lost them. Alameda Research should have never had access to FTX customer funds.
At this point, this engineering director had a choice to make: immediately stop assisting what looked like potential fraud, or to become an aid to them.
The smart thing would have been to talk immediately to a lawyer and get professional advice.
Instead: this engineering director talked to the founder; and decided to stay to "help clean up" the mess. 🤦🏼♀️
Now, he faces up to 75 years in jail
Read this post to know exactly what you should do when you encounter Illegal activities at work:
I am a a tech worker and Millennial content creator who shares ideas on how we can accelerate our growth while staying balanced.
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