Due to the final exams and my trip back to China (where you cannot access WordPress, so so sad), this might be my last post for 2012. To give 2012 a nice and meaningful closing, I decided to write about a life lesson market research taught me.
Life is full of ups and downs, just like a kid’s mood. Sometimes I feel I’m so powerful that I can solve any problem, but sometimes I feel so useless like nothing. As a researcher, I tried to solve this problem and keep a good balance of my mood. I started my “research” by analyzing the pattern of my “downs”: I realized almost all of them happened when I found I cannot do something well, especially not as well as somebody else can. Because of the “failure”, I started to question myself: my capability, my interpersonal relationship, my everything… Then I felt awful, and before realizing it I was already in the “pessimistic chasm”. Obviously, to keep things from going all the way wrong, I need to figure out why the feeling of “failure” can give me such dramatic negative influence. See, the research question emerged by itself! (I knew this sounds kinda crazy, but please bear with me for a sec. We are almost there for the life lesson!)
No one likes the feeling of “I cannot do something well’. However, individuals’ opinion on “failure” varies. We all know that “failure is the mother of success”, but when YOU are facing a “failure”, it’s way too hard to remind yourself it’s not a big deal. That’s exactly the reason why the “old me” was beaten so hardly by “failures”. Nevertheless, just like all kinds of research methods have their native defects and inevitable errors, fault and failure is an inherent part of life. Also like research, positive mood and life can be generalized into 5 keywords: Variation, Selection, Trail, Error and Correction.
In my point of view, variation is the essential beauty of the world. Market research exists because of the diversity among a population. Same for our lives: everyone in your life is different, every single approach to solve a problem is different, YOU become different in every minute. It is wonderful if you select the “right” one, thing or approach at your first try, BUT it’s not always the case, and please remember it’s also not NECESSARY. We might have to face the “errors”, but at most of time, we also have opportunities and right to correct it! We felt so bad when we were in the middle of the process, but after it was done, we looked back, and realized we learned so much.
Below is a TED talk that inspired me with the ideas in this post. If you are experiencing a bad mood or feeling confused and vulnerable, I highly recommend you to watch it.
A future market researcher’s closing words for 2012: Please enjoy the process of Variation, Selection, Trial, Error & Correction! Just as we can always optimize a research, we can also choose to be brave and optimize our lives!