Came across this premise in Armando's book and it's the non-specific premise of my book (mine's more specific. I just changed the value judgement from success/bad to success/good. I've been thinking about this problem a lot because it's right at the heart of the story, and a lot of stories. Learning the big lessons is rarely painless, especially if you've been doing nothing but making mistakes. Growth often shreds you down to nothing, so you can get rid of the false growth you attained before and start fresh, from the roots up. I guess this also falls into the 'he finally finds out he truth about his father" category. When you get that knowledge it either destroys you or helps you to a new level, or destroys you first then helps you to a new level, or takes you to a new level and then, for unexpected reasons, destroys you.
So it's a question of when do you stop looking, right? If I focus on the pain and how bad it feels, it's the judgement is bad, especially if it puts the character in a hospital or jail. On the other hand, if it puts him in recovery of some kind, even just personal, the judgement is good.
I got stuck here and thought, well what if it's neither because he's in a lot of pain but he now also possesses the trut, but the truth is not very pleasant. And that's where you have to make a call: is it better to know a terrible truth, if you can't do anything about it (coming destruction, e.g.), or is it better to remain asleep and unaware until the last moment to get as much peaceful life as you can?
This probably wraps around to the idea of Change--how the character changes, in what direction, as a result of the new knowledge, not just how he's feeling about things. Does he really grow, or does he collapse back in on himself? If he grows--hmm, is growth ALWAYS good? Well, that depends on who you ask. This is that Edith Keeler question - what if you convince FDR that peace is the way, but then Hitler takes over as a result. So her personal growth was great for Hitler, bad for just about everybody else. Personal growth is a very, very narrow focus. But is it just a utilitarian numbers game?
Sunday morning musings on Good/Bad judgment.