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Failure opens up many routes towards victory

I often wonder how failure shatters us and how much we panic even though we have been programmed for it right from our toddler days. Bhushan Kachru writes.

india Updated: May 15, 2012 17:17 IST
Bhushan Kachru

I often wonder how failure shatters us and how much we panic even though we have been programmed for it right from our toddler days. Remember how we learnt walking and cycling and falling several times on way to learning. We were made to believe that winning means applause, bursting of crackers and media hype; while losers get the boots.

Our scriptures and mythological tales also suggest that messengers of God had to experience failure at the hands of demons before truth could conquer evil.

Adam had to deal with his own failings while still protecting and caring for his family. Failure in life is no doubt feels most unfortunate, but equally unfortunate are our interpretations.

Failure is not an undertaker but a message to explore new routes to achieve our goal and gives strength to withstand crisis, innumerable pressures and frustrations which are the baggage of failure. Didn’t Greek author Plutarch opine, “What we achieve inwardly will change the outer reality”.

The power of failure is not only a law of life but a great teacher, advising us how to tread the right path ahead. It is a vital component of the growing-up process and a baptism of fire that fuels our inner urge to perform or perish. It turns failure into success and makes one humble, patient and hopeful. It teaches mantras of tolerance, resolution and calmness.

Failure is caused when we grow with a directionless mind-set, lack staying power and will to perform, lose self-faith and self-impetus. General George Patton said, “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits the bottom”.

Failure is a hope that “every cloud has a silver lining” and brings us close to realise the feelings of thousands who fail every now and then simply to succeed ultimately. As Edison said a century ago, “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” Don’t we need to learn lessons from history’s great men and women who, having failed initially, rose up to conquer?