Thomas Edison’s most memorable invention was the light bulb, which took him 1,000 tries before he developed a successful prototype. “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” a reporter asked. “I didn’t fail 1,000 times,” Edison responded. “The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
You did not clear the exam? Give yourself the greatest gift of all: FAILURE!
What just about always happens when we try to do something big? We fail. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, failure is an important experience we need to help us improve. But, over the last decades, we have started to bog ourselves down with our failures.
Turns out, this has even worse implications than we might think. By not letting our minds and hearts accept failures with courage, we effectively deny them the skills they will need later in life. So let’s explore how to overcome the controlling way we deal with failures.
The sweetest victory is the one that’s most difficult.
Our history seldom documents failures. Our society doesn’t reward failures. Yet, we read about Thomas Edison and Elvis Presley who had failed numerous times. What they did and what we are reluctant to do is just one thing: TRYING AGAIN.
Elvis Presley’s success came after failure. His first recordings went nowhere. After that he tried to join a vocal quartet and was told “he couldn’t sing”. Finally, right before he became popular, he was told, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
Success takes time and effort. The one that requires you to reach down deep inside and to fight with everything you’ve got, but the dreaded failure experience is so strong that it makes us quit and start a new life. Don’t give in. Fight the failure. One day, you will have a success story to tell because of your failure.
It takes courage to choose hope over fear
Many of us avoid the prospect of failure. In fact, we focus so much on not failing instead of aiming for success. Great success depends on great risk. So do not choose to play it safe, to fly below the radar, repeating the same safe choices over and over again. To achieve your personal best, to reach unparalleled heights, to make the impossible possible, you can’t fear failure, you must think big, and you have to push yourself forward and face the challenges.
Do not give up Hope. Hope gives us the energy to move forward. To believe in ourselves again. To take baby steps towards our goal. Always remember, the night is darkest just before the dawn and the dawn is coming.
Learn from your mistakes
“To err is human” – As the famous quote goes, we are not immune to making mistakes, but if we choose to ignore our errors and carry on as before, in all likelihood, we will end where we started, going in circles.
When we don’t learn from our mistakes, our failure will never mold us, leading to bigger failures and a colossal waste of time.
So, first own your mistakes. Find out the reasons why you failed. Don’t play the blame game. Take responsibility. All those who have cleared this time would have had their set of temptations and challenges. Figure out what they did, and you didn’t and what they didn’t, and you did. When you’ve acknowledged your mistakes, think about what you could do to prevent it from happening again. Identify the skills, knowledge, resources, or tools that will keep you from repeating the same mistakes.
Our enthusiasm must come from our own motivation; not because of herd mentality
The fight for survival that humans experienced hundreds of years ago has given way to a fight for perfect grades in school, admission in a perfect college, perfect relationships in the existing community, perfect posting in the UPSC and finally a PERFECT life. Although grades and evaluation were invented to measure progress and future success, they have a considerable downside: they have instilled in us a herd mentality. To blindly do what others around us do. We fail to pursue what we really want to do.
Only when we are enthusiastic about our tasks, we persevere, even when the going gets tough. But how do you make studying exciting? Well, the key rule is to have your goal in mind. Picture yourself being seated in the District Collector’s Desk, controlling the Law and Order, having the power to Do Good. If your goal doesn’t make you enthusiastic about your journey, maybe it is time you changed your goal.
Before you decide on trying again, ensure you are on the right track, doing what you want to do. Then there should be no looking back. Give it ALL in.
Remember: It is okay to fail. What is not okay is to give up after failing. “The quickest road to success is to possess an attitude toward failure of ‘no fear.’” The first is to consciously maintain a positive attitude so that, no matter what you encounter, you’ll be able to see the lessons of the experience and continue to push forward. When the destination looks like a cake to you, would you mind beating the eggs and flour till your hands hurt? Would you not beat it even more? …because you know, the more you beat, the softer comes out the cake.
“Put simply, A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, hard word and endless trying”