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Old 10-28-2012, 06:46 PM
Location: DFW
6,795 posts, read 11,765,661 times
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From what I've experienced, failure is looked upon more pessimistically in my own culture (Chinese) than in Western culture where it's sometimes looked upon as a legitimate learning experience.

Is there any deeper cultural origins to this fear of failure (if any)? I'm a big fan of Tomas Watson's quote: "Want great success? Double your rate of failure!" but it doesn't seem like this sort of ideal would fly well in Chinese culture...
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:50 PM
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,885,877 times
Reputation: 7441
I haven't seen that at all, the opposite really. I'm not an expert though.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:56 AM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
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I'd say the same could be said for American culture. They're so obsessed with winning and losing and being a 'winner' and a 'loser.'
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:50 PM
Location: 406
1,423 posts, read 1,541,399 times
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Trimac, from your cultural standpoint, I could see how Americans might seem "obsessed" with winning and losing, but, other than that, is there any other reason or basis for your recurring tendency to declare sweeping generalizations and other absolutes about what Americans are and are not? I'm genuinely curious...
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:25 PM
16 posts, read 20,445 times
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I would say anyone who has achieved something significiantly difficult would have experienced many occasions of failure, but learnt to learn from mistakes.

To become over obsessed with winning/losing is often an undesirable side effect of striving to achieve.

A truly all round achiever is someone who achieve professional & relationship successes. It isn't an easy game in our complex world of today.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:30 PM
Location: Anytown, USA
681 posts, read 1,394,307 times
Reputation: 376
The fear of failure is definitely an Asian thing.... from India all the way to East Asia...In a way its good, in a way its bad. there has to be a balance.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:16 PM
16 posts, read 20,445 times
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In every society, there are people who fear failure and don't try, and there are people who try again and again after each failure.

Nop, it isn't an asian thing to fear failure.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:33 PM
Location: Queens, NY
147 posts, read 275,750 times
Reputation: 122
My opinion (also as a Chinese) is that we are more risk-averse than Western (American society). It's difficult to generalize either side, but the Chinese mindset is that any kind of failure is frowned upon, and so it is often swept under the rug, so to speak, whereas with the Western mindset, failure is more of an open possibility and something to overcome. I think it has to do largely with the Chinese emphasis on the "face" value of things, where one must look appealing and successful on the outside, no matter how much of a mess you are behind the scenes. As a consequence of this, no right-minded Chinese would ever consider failure as an ordinary part of life, since a failure would cause one to significantly "lose face." And the ultimate consequence to this, as I'm finding, is that we are less encouraged (sometimes even advised against) taking risks that have a good possibility of failure (and of course, with that, great reward).
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:55 PM
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,061,470 times
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Definitely a part of the culture. The term "kiasu" (afraid to lose) is so representational of the Singaporean people (who are themselves mostly Chinese, and the term itself derived from the Hokkien/Fujian pronunciation of 怕输) that whenever one speaks of 'kiasu', one instantly thinks of the Singaporeans (and less so, the Malaysian Chinese).
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:00 AM
6,201 posts, read 6,358,094 times
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Nations that are not prosperous, and going through political upheavel like China pretty has been for the most part of 21st century will tend to make people scared, paranoid, and weary of others, and pessimistic. Simply because those times are perilous. Along with that comes a sense that you cannot make a mistake because someone is going to capitalize on it. So a natural fear of failure will develop.
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