I recently applied for a Research Summer school in Helsinki and I was elated when I received the letter saying my application was successful. In the letter, I was congratulated for my excellent academic record and informed that out of 89 highly qualified applicants, I made it to the lucky 25 who will attend the Summer school. It feels so good to receive such news, and it more than makes up for all the other failed applications, most of which I do not even receive a regret letter for.
And if I have learnt anything so far, it is that the road to success is lined with failure. When I was younger, I was so afraid of not succeeding so I would not try. Now, my philosophy is 'try everything once, if only to find out what does not work.' This is a dangerous way to go about life but it is the only way to break new ground. Humans have conquered the world and spread to the four corners of it precisely by courting danger (and now that very world is threatened by our daring ways).
My own little world is constantly under the threat of falling apart because I push myself beyond the limits, way to often. Some mornings, like this one, I wake up totally worn out even after having a full night's sleep, because I did too much the day before. So now, I am trying to streamline my activities; focusing on the important stuff. Though sometimes I wonder, if any of this is important. I don't need to do a PhD, I don't need to paint, I don't need to blog and post everyday.