Failure: why is there an innate fear of not succeeding the first time around? An answer leaning on the side of science may say dopamine is at fault; the release of dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter, parallels reward motivated behaviour. However, what signifies behaviour that is to be rewarded, and that which isn’t?
Growing up, I was always told that failure is a natural part of learning and growing as a person – be it in starting up a business, trying out a new hobby, or learning new material for school. Take this in the aspect of education, for example: Back when my parents were children, the rigority of India’s school system elicited the need for constant competition between students. It was an all or nothing system for scoring exam points in some cases: either you are completely correct, or you are wrong. No mercy points for doing 90% of the equations correct and ending up with the wrong answer; not an ounce of appreciation for what a student has done right. This mentality instills the feeling of shame when the first try is not the only try, and although things now may be different in the North American schooling system, failure applies to things far greater than an education. Not being the best of the best is absolutely fine, but then you hear about THOSE kids. The high schooler who won multiple science contests for manufacturing a prosthetic limb, the entrepreneur who self started an arcade business in his home garage, or the 13-year-old who was dubbed “rock climbing royalty” after being the youngest person to complete the world’s most treacherous rock climbing route in Spain. Even personally, I know students who have gone on to Ivy League schools, a crazy athletic swimmer who made it to world level Olympics, and a worldwide chess champion, just off the top of my head, but their results were only the outcome of the effort they had put in behind the scenes. Unsuccessful attempts pave the way to learn something more than the person beside you who passed in their first attempt. The least you’ll get out of the effort is the satisfaction of having given it your all, even if it didn’t work out. Take some of the most influential people in this time – Elon Musk, a prime example. To put some of his failures into the light, he was kicked off as CEO of Zip2, (online equivalent of the yellow pages), a company he had built from the ground up. In 1999, Paypal, an online money transer service, was deemed as one of the 10 worst businesses ideas; after gaining momentum, Musk was fired from the company after preferring to use a Microsoft platform instead of Unix. He began investing in SpaceX rockets when the Russians continued to refuse to sell theirs, and after obtaining a NASA contract for his rockets, the first three launches were failures, with the third launch explosion destroying NASA satellites on board. Not to mention that at one point, he had contracted cerebral malaria, (a lethal formal of malaria), after a vacation; he lost his first born son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) after 10 days of birth; and at one point, both Tesla and SpaceX were at the point of bankruptcy, with not enough profit to continue to manufacture vehicles. Through all of this, his current net worth now sits at USD $16.6 billion – his extreme consistency and perseverance were the keys to his success. As Thomas Edison put it: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’”
A side note: I’d like to recommend Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, one of the first best selling self help books out there. Enlighten yourself with the do’s and don’ts of how to handle people and get the ambitious mindset.
Anyways! Aside from that little motivational post, here are some FLOURLESS blondies with a secret ingredient! (What is a blondie? It is the non-chocolatey counterpart to the beloved brownie, in case you were wondering)
Word of the Day
Manumit (v.): to release from slavery (This 27.5-acre parcel was purchased by a man who was manumitted from slavery by his father)
-1 cup chickpeas
-1 tablespoon cocoa powder
-1/4 cup dry oats
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup date syrup (any other liquid sweetener should work too, like honey)
-2.5 tablespoons peanut butter
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 cup chocolate chips
-2 tablespoons peanut butter to swirl
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the chickpeas, then add all EXCEPT the last two ingredients to a food processor (if you are using a regular blender, it may not be as smooth, and the final product could have chickpea chunks, which you don’t want). Blend until everything becomes smooth, then stir in the chocolate chips and pour into a square baking dish, either greased with oil or lined with wax paper. Warm up the peanut butter until it is easy to stir, then drop spoonfuls of it all over the top of the batter and swirl it in with a toothpick or knife. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 14 minutes. Although they may look undercooked, let them cool for 20 minutes, and then put them in fridge for a couple hours. After refrigeration the taste will change and they will be denser, chewier, and sweeter. Serve either warm or cold, and keep refrigerated.
As some of these recipes are inspired/taken from other websites, of course they must be given credit – Chocolate Covered Katie has some great recipes, and this recipe was taken from her Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies.
Makes: 12 servings
Nutritonal Info (per serving):
Fat: 4.8 g
Carbs: 14.7 g
Sodium: 129.8 mg
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fiber: 1.7 g
Sugar: 7.9 g
Protein: 2.8 g