Yes, Together We Can
by (Capt) Ravi K Mahajan


26. FAILURES

 

Teach your son how to WIN, but more importantly,

 teach him how to handle FAILURE.

 

Life is really a mixture of Success and Failures. Sometimes, in spite of all our best and most sincere efforts, we fail while at other times, with little efforts, we succeed. That’s the way, life is and that’s the way, it is going to be and we must learn to accept it. Once again, Success or Failure is not in our hand, but making an earnest effort to succeed, definitely is. So ‘Karma’ which is in our hands, we must do, never thinking of the result, Success or Failure.

 

Though, ‘Failure’ may appear to be a negative term, but this is one of the most important lessons of this book. I might not have touched this Negative aspect of our lives, but feel duty bound to our younger generation, who might over-react to normal failures in their lives and might feel disheartened, disappointed, frustrated or sometimes in extreme cases, totally shattered by such normal happenings in life. They must know how to react to failures, how to handle them, learn from them and ultimately, win over them, to be on the road to victory and success.

 

Like many other lessons of this book, handling failures or learning from them, may not be learnt as a child, but as one is growing up, such needs would arise and knowing this fine art of how to deal and react to failures in life, can be very handy. Learning to take reverses and set-backs in our stride, always puts us on the firm road to success, glory and victory. When we introspect ourselves, we will always find that overcoming negativity, doubts, wrong attitude or fear of failure, are the best guarantor of success.

 

Failures are fertilizers to success. If you do not accept defeat, you can convert each failure into success, because each failure is success postponed. Plan for success from commitment to win with the wisdom gained out of your past failures. Success or failure is in what you think. Make your thinking positive, think success, be good and nothing but good, harm no one, help everyone you can, carry your team together, be honest and sincere. Now look down at your feet. Success is there, kissing your feet.

 

First and foremost thing for the readers is to understand that most failures are only temporary set-backs or reverses. More than the failure itself, it is the ‘fear of failure’ or ‘fear of rejection’, which, actually, hurts and haunts us. These are also two impediments or road blocks to moving ahead in life. You do not have to be afraid of failures as long as you analyze every failed attempt, learn from it and do not repeat the mistake. As written above, ‘Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but rising every time we fail’. So Never get disheartened, but keep trying (Never give in. Try, Try & Try again) and soon success will be touching your feet.

 

Logically, when only action is in your hand, not the result, then why not play to win? That gives you a better chance to win. Be fearless of the failures, since every failure is only a fertilizer to success. If you learn from every failed attempt, you are more likely to succeed. Each one of us has unlimited untapped potential which must be explored. You have to improve with every failed attempt. Greatest service to the mankind is to encourage anyone who has failed, be it your son, brother, sister, friend, relative, colleague or subordinate and never say any unkind word of discouragement to them. They must never lose heart and must be encouraged to bounce back after every failed attempt. Stigma that is attached to failures, must go. Motivate and inspire anyone to make another effort, give another try which would bring success. If not, then another one which would, and if that also does not, then another one, till you succeed.

 

Often, newspapers carry unfortunate reports of children, young students committing suicides, after having failed in exams, problems with teachers or colleagues or failed love affairs. More than anything, these unfortunate but avoidable incidents, are the result of our obsolete education system, which does not prepare the children to fight it out which they, ultimately, have to do, to emerge victorious in life. Once failed, children in their narrow outlook, cannot bear the humiliation and do not have the will power to bounce back. They think everything is lost with one failure and get totally disheartened in their narrow vision of life.

 

I myself must admit that though I passed my high school exam in second division (in 1958), I got three grace marks in ‘history’, to clear the exam. If, by any chance, I had got 29 marks, instead of 30 which I actually got, I would have failed and would have wasted one year. Obviously, I missed the ‘failure’ only by a whisker. When I look back, I do not know how I would have reacted, but one thing is sure that the ‘failure’ black spot, would have brought great humiliation both on me and my parents. Fifty years hence, it does not seem to matter that much, but it would have been a big calamity and social humiliation at that time, for which I was least prepared. But, when I think in retrospect, after fifty years, if it came to that, one year lost in fifty, would not have mattered much but, same loss of one year, appeared unbearable at that time.

 

More than any subject, children must be taught, how to act when failure come in their way, how to handle failures and how we can convert every failed attempt in life, as an opportunity to learn and benefit from it. Most of all, Failures, Adversities, Difficulties and Problems, are all part of life and should be welcome, because they provide us education and knowledge, which otherwise, would not have been possible. Adversity in life, is a big education.

 

 In case of Failures or Adversities, when we create time distance with our difficulties and failures, we are more objective and are in a better position to react & get over them. As time passes, our difficulties also appear smaller and smaller or more and more insignificant. This is a lesson for us to learn that we should think, take our time, visualize the future course of action and then only act, to minimize the loss or impact of adversity or failure.

 

Failure is nature’s way of making us strong and powerful. Look at a child, who has to do so much effort with his tiny body. In spite of all the difficulties, hard work and repeated attempts, ultimately the child is the winner by learning each and every thing in life, which comes naturally to him after he has learnt it the hard way. Child does not know it, but nature has made child’s mindset against accepting defeat, which keeps prodding him by repeated attempts till child learns everything. In fact, a child does not know whether failure exists. He does not accept ‘NO’ as an answer. That’s the ‘secret’ of child’s ultimate success in whatever he does.  

 

Ibrahim Lincoln has made himself immortal in world history by fighting against every failure and umpteen setbacks in personal and political life, starting from an early age to ultimately, become the President of America. During his darkest hours, he exhibited explicit faith in God and used to say ‘This too shall pass’. By his great undying efforts and tenacity, he proved beyond doubt, that all the failures in life are only temporary defeats, which do pass and ultimately, if a person has enough of it inside him, he would always come out triumphs and winner, come what may.

 

Life is, in fact, a cycle of events, some good, some bad. Earlier we learn to face them, fight them, learn from them and then, win over them, better off we shall always be. Those are the ways of Life. It may be sorrow today but tomorrow, definitely it shall be joy. Since, every failure or failed attempt, has lots of lessons for us to learn, we should always Thank Him for making us more wise and courageous by his own methods. If we stand like a rock against all the failures and do not accept the defeat, no one on earth can fail us. Simply, refuse to be cowed down.

 

Important thing is to LEARN. ‘Wise learn from their mistakes. Wiser learn from others’ mistakes’. Learning and improving process, never stops in life. Readers will do well to go through lessons on ‘Adversities’ ‘Difficulties-Disappointments-Frustrations’, again and again to master the art of fighting failures and convert every failure into lessons you learn and improve yourself and never accept ‘NO’ as an answer as does the child. Lift yourself up so much that even defeat facing you, will feel defeated by your efforts and endeavour. Success and Failure are the two sides of the same coin. In spite of the best efforts put in by you, at different times, you will either fail or succeed. Learn to take both of them in their stride. For a graceful living, you need failures to teach you the life skills to turn every DEFEAT INTO VICTORY.    

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*

Our greatest glory is not in never Failing,

 but in Rising every time we fail.

 

Success is the last step on the ladder of Failures.

 

SUCCESS is Never Certain. Failure is Never Final.


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