A non-exhaustive list of things I have failed to accomplish


A few years ago I stumbled across a blog post that described a person’s complete cv. The idea was that the cv listed both the things they had accomplished and the things they had failed to accomplish. At the time, it really helped me to see that to be successful you have to be willing to fail over and over. 

I use my website to show the things I have accomplished career-wise. But I have also failed to achieve a lot of the things I set out to do. The reason was that there was strong competition for the awards/positions I was up for and other deserving people got them.   

  1. Applied to MIT undergrad in 1999 - rejected
  2. Donovan J. Thompson Award 2001 - did not receive
  3. Applied for Barry Goldwater scholarship 2002 - rejected
  4. Applied for NSF Pre-Doctoral Fellowship 2003 - rejected
  5. Applied for graduate school in math at MIT 2003, rejected
  6. One of my first 3 papers rejected at PLoS Biology 2005
  7. Many subsequent rejections of papers - too many to list exhaustively but here is one example
  8. Applied for Youden Award 2010 - rejected
  9. Applied for Microsoft Faculty Fellowship 2012 - rejected
  10. Applied for Sloan Fellowship 2012 - rejected
  11. Many grants have been rejected, again too long to list exhaustively