HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014
Failure takes you ten steps ahead
Gauri Kohli, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 20, 2012
First Published: 17:58 IST(20/11/2012)
Last Updated: 18:02 IST(20/11/2012)
Indian billiard player Pankaj Advani poses with his gold medal after winning the men's English billiards singles final at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou.

My mother allowed me to make my own choices in childhood on the condition that I gave it my 100%. That’s been a huge influencing value for me.

First high
It was the first world title in snooker in 2003 in China. Personally, receiving the Khel Ratna at the age of 21 has been a great moment.

My idols
I look up to my mother for instilling strong principles and shaping my attitude. Arvind Savur, my coach, friend, philosopher and guide has also played a key role in my success. I also admire my brother Shree for his brilliance in mind-coaching me to many titles. Not to forget Roger Federer, for the class and consistency he displays as a champion.

My idea of success
I practise four to six hours a day apart from an hour at the gym and/or doing yoga. But time is only one aspect. I have picked up my life from Bangalore and moved to Sheffield to explore the challenging world of professional snooker. I am away from my family, friends and home in order to keep stepping out of my comfort zone. Sometimes, your dedication towards your work can affect your personal life. But near and dear ones are always there in some form or the other - in person or in spirit. I have come to rely more on myself, which has made me experience self-discovery and growth. Every sacrifice has a gain.

Dealing with failure
Firstly, I don’t look at it as failure. It is an undesired outcome with learning. Success takes you one step ahead while failure takes you ten steps forward.

Advice to youngsters
Don’t be afraid to experiment and follow your passion. Identify what you are good at and if you enjoy doing it then let that be your guiding force.

It’s raining records

*  Advani has repeated his world record feat of 2005 and 2008 by being the only person in the world to hold national, Asian and world titles in the same year 
*  He is the reigning Asian Games gold medallist
*  He is the only player in the world to win a professional world title in billiards while participating in the professional snooker circuit in the same year 
*  He is the youngest Indian ever to have won eight world titles in any sport

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