A Perceived Successful Failure
During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!
This week: This time, I think about how the success of our own sub-goals majorly affects the perceived outcome of the overall goal.
Our thoughts and feelings are weird when it comes to evaluating the results of the attempts to achieve our self-determined goals. Often, we value the results not based on the overall outcome but based on the success of the sub-component we are interested in the most.
For instance, consider a journey to a distant country that can include a visit of a specific and very beautiful place. Despite experiencing a great journey and enjoying many memorable events, not being able to reach the location we are dreaming of can have a significant impact on the overall travel experience. As a result, we of course value the entire journey as a fantastic experience, but feel a bit sad at the same time.
Currently, I feel a bit the same about my personal research. A bit more than a month ago, I submitted three papers to a particular conference. One of the three papers described my theoretical approach of my PhD thesis. Hence, getting this paper published is very critical for me. The chances for getting an acceptance for all of the three papers were quite high as my research is directly in the scope of this conference. Still, there was no guarantee for it.
Last Friday, the results of the review process got announced: all of my papers got accepted. However, my most important and most valuable paper was only accepted as a poster and not as a full paper. Of course, this is not a problem as it basically allows me to submit my theoretical approach somewhere else again and, as a result of this, to present my model in two publications.
However, my focus mainly was on the publication of my theoretical model. Thus, I also measure the success of the submission process based on the acceptance of this very paper. As a result, despite the fact that all of my papers got accepted, it feels like a „successful failure“.
Although this downgrade of my paper represents a major flaw in the perceived overall rate of success of my submissions, I slowly start to realize that I still managed to achieve all of my goals. All three papers got accepted and will be published. Two of them show that my theoretical model works. Guess I should be more happy …