In order to achieve wealth, humankind invented the concept of performance. Charles Darwin’s theory on survival of the fittest is confirmed in everyday life when winners are loved, losers forgotten. Despite all this, with each omission of performance, we have the chance to discover what is truly important for us.
The other side of performance
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that failure is “omission of occurrence or performance.”. Already in kindergarten, we are introduced to the world of performance, when we recite poetry, dance and sing in front of the audience of parents.
Our taste for performance develops as we go through school. Yet, in school we are not taught how to cope with failure.
We are motivated with grades and praises to be successful. The top students are the favourites of teachers.
When we start our working life, the mere presence of our boss is a reminder that we are hired there to perform.
Choose any profession and you’ll have a set of performance measures assigned to it. For example, doctors can be assessed based on the number of patients. Researchers can be evaluated based on the number of publications and the quality of journals where they publish their work.
What happens if we fail to perform?
Whether we are fired or penalised for bad performance, we have the opportunity to look at life from a deeper perspective. Even those of us who perceive themselves as performers are not defined by performance.
Our identity does not need to be based on profession. We may need to reassess what we are good at, what motivates us, what makes us tick.
Performance may play its role in the evaluation of progress in economy but it should not be confused with Life.
We are human beings with amazing potential to express ourselves freely and creatively. For that, we need to get out of the way the obsession with performance.
In my personal dictionary, failure is the opportunity to get in touch with our intuition and start acting based on it.