Archives for category: Uncategorized

What is worse: Failure or Regret

Fall seven, rise eight – Japanese Proverb
You’re going to fail and you’re going to struggle. It’s critical you understand failure is not endemic, it is a stage which can be progressed though. Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right. Attitude is everything.
If you think you are a failure who will never succeed it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy which prohibits you from learning and progressing. Altering your mindset is critical in achieving success. If you view failure as a necessary step to achieving iterative and cumulative progress then you have a chance.
Failure is a lesson that teaches you the way in which you chose to tackle a problem was wrong. It does not mean you have exhausted all avenues for exploration. You need to understand that there will be times where it is necessary to take 2 steps forward only to take 3 steps back.
Failure is the string which ties every significant advance in history. Could we have reached the moon without the brave sacrifice of those astronauts willing to risk their lives for the unknown. Could we have developed a vaccination against polio if Jonas Salk never tested it on himself?
Significant learning only happens when it shares a bed with the opportunity for failure. Failure breeds understanding of the things that need to be fixed in order to achieve success.
Potential is unlimited and it can only be constrained by a lack of imagination. Inspiration should come from knowing what you are now isn’t what you will be this time next year.
Would you rather live with the regret of doing something and failing, fully aware of the outcome of your actions, or forever wonder at what may have been had you acted? Doing something may result in failure but it affords you the opportunity to learn and improve from what you have experienced and critically improve performance thereafter. Failure is merely the discovery of one way of doing something that doesn’t work. Regret is never exploring any means of achieving anything.
Doing nothing can only ever result in regret. It can never lead to learning or creating anything of value and therefore regret is debilitating and paralysing. Failure is an essential part of iterative progress. It informs cumulative advancement and helps achieve significant and unprecedented development. Regret is symptomatic of being too scared to even try.
Success and failure are inexplicably linked. Success can be arrived at after failure but regret never leads to the creation of anything or even the potential for success. Successful failure can be measured in actions and what you have learned whereas failure without action leaves the possibility of regret. The fear of failure can be paralysing. Don’t let it be. You should be afraid of failing, but you should be even more afraid of failing to try.
I can openly confess I’m afraid to fail, but I am for more afraid that I will fail to accomplish anything of significance. Failure is not a sign that your ideas are doomed but as a necessary step toward success. Failure is about learning, regret is about never knowing.
Bravery is accepting failure as an opportunity. Regret is lacking the courage to act.
Failure is an opportunity to improve. It is spotting that something isn’t as it should be and accepting it as a challenge to stretch and extend your capabilities.Regret is accepting what you are today is who you will always be.
Failure is about having a growth mindset. It is about approaching everything as an opportunity to enrich your understanding of anything. Regret is a fear of finding out how much you don’t know. Experiencing failure is indicative of you becoming the best version of yourself. Regret is always wondering what you were capable of.
Failure is trying something which is a risk. Failure arises from risk. Risk distinctly promises the opportunity of reward. Regret is accepting your current limitations are what define you and what you are is fixed. Success is never final and failure never fatal. It’s courage that counts. Regret is lacking that courage.
Every critical success in human history has arisen following crushing failure, which has been recovered from and acted as a catalyst for the unprecedented change that would follow. Regret is letting that crushing failure defeat you and never knowing what might have been.
If at first you don’t succeed, you’ll know you’re aiming high enough.
Failure is only failure if you fail to learn. Fail smarter and never regret anything you ever set out to achieve.
Chris Herd. 20th July 2016. Medium



When I was a junior doctor, I dreaded the back pain clinic. You had a few minutes with each patient to talk through their months of debilitating pain. There was little to offer in terms of relief. Fast forward and back pain is only getting worse. A report from the University of Washington in Seattle found that while people live longer, they feel healthy for fewer years because of backache. So what can help relieve pain and reduce the annual 10m days lost from work each year in the UK due to backache?

It depends on the cause, but exercise, spinal manipulation and painkillers such as codeine (a weak opiod) and paracetamol are often recommended. Taking opiods for years can make people dependent and invariably causes constipation. Guidance from Nice, which is being updated, also recommends cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – training to change how people think and behave when they have pain, which is notoriously hard to come by.

Now mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can be added to the mix, following the first trial comparing this treatment with usual care or cognitive behavioural therapy. In a study of 342 adults aged 20-70, randomly and equally allocated to each treatment group and having suffered with back pain for an average of 7.3 years, those given mindfulness training found it easier to get out of chairs, go upstairs and had less pain than those given usual care. In the MBSR group, 61% felt more able to move around without pain than the 44% who carried on with their usual care. CBT was equally as good as MBSR at reducing pain. The effects lasted for at least a year.

So what is MBSR, and is it worth trying if you have chronic back pain?

The solution

MBSR reduces the stress and negative impact of backache by changing how the mind processes pain. MBSR in this study involved two-hour group sessions once a week for eight weeks in which people were taught meditation, yoga and body awareness. An early exercise has people lie on a mat for 10-20 minutes, focusing on one part of the body at a time, becoming aware and “accepting of any sensations”. If you can try MBSR, you might as well: there are no side-effects and it seems to carry on working.

Dan Cherkin, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the lead author of the research paper, believes that training the mind may have longer-lasting effects than manipulating the spine. Research even suggests that MBSR may cause physical changes in regions of the brain that regulate emotion, memory and self-referential awareness. Cherkin acknowledges that MBSR may be as hard to come by as CBT, but says there are online courses and adds that MBSR-founder Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn’s classic book Full Catastrophe Living could help. Of course, none of this implies that back pain is in the mind. It is worth noting that MBSR is also being looked at in breast cancer, to see if it not only reduces distress but improves survival.

Dr Luisa Dillner



If there are obstacles, it cannot be space,

If there are numbers, it cannot be stars,

If it moves and shakes, it cannot be a mountain,

If it grows and shrinks, it cannot be an ocean,

If it must be crossed by a bridge, it cannot be a river,

If it can be grasped, it cannot be a rainbow.

These are the six parables of outer perception.