Picture this: Remember that time you asked that hot girl out, and your cool, loaded friend got the catch instead? Or how about that dark day where you were sure that your project was going to win an award, and that hated colleague walked off with the trophy?
Sounds familiar, right? We’ve all been in various situations in life where we have bitten the dust and failure has loomed large and threatening in front of us. All we have to remember, in situations like these, is that success in never ending and failure is never final.
Every cloud comes with a silver lining
Clichéd, but true, isn’t it? Think of any dark situation that you have endured in life, and you’ll find that there’s a hidden good behind every bad that happens. You really wanted to go to that dream college of yours, and get that degree that seemed to you like a goose that lays golden eggs. Unfortunately, you didn’t make it and that dream college rejected you. To the ones who got in, you were a failure.
Perhaps your folks also lost a bit of their faith in you. But was it really a failure, or just yet another crossroads that led you to a better calling that you now actually enjoy and are happy with? Frankly, we may not like it, but failure sometimes is nothing more than a stepping stone to a path that leads to our dreams. Sometimes there’s a grander plan in store of us, and that so-called failure needs to be taken in stride, learnt from and then stored for future use. What people think of you is immaterial.
I have not failed
“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
These were the famous words uttered by Thomas A Edison, when he finally made a light bulb, after “failing” to do so 10,000 times. Imagine 10,000 failures! Had he given up after five attempts or 10 or a 100 – we still may not have had the light bulb.
So what you need to remember, what we all need to remember, is to stay positive even when faced with rejection, failure, or any other society-dictated rebuff. Failing at something doesn’t mean that we cannot achieve success ahead – it means that more work needs to be done, more attempts need to be made.
Famous authors have been rejected and bluntly refused by many equally famous publishers – those authors persevered. They wrote and wrote some more, sent off their manuscripts to one, two, 20 agents and finally they succeeded. Isn’t that what success is, failure that simply never gives up?
Giving up is the only sure way to fail
You’ll often hear successful people say that it’s better than to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. Remember that they are very often speaking from the heart – there’s no success without a list of failures behind it. When you try your hand at something for the first time, you’re not likely to succeed at it. Remember the first time you played ball? Or tried your hand at skating? Or decided to learn to play the guitar? Chances are that you sucked at it.
It’s like when a child is learning to ride a bike. Does he give up the very first time he falls? Sometimes he gets hurt. Other times, the older kids snigger at his wobbly attempts. He cries, he gets into a snit and sometimes even exclaims that he will never get on that bike again. And when the sun brings in a new day, you see him get on and pedal madly, till he’s finally done it.
Life’s like that – you fail only when you give up. Try, try again. And even then if you don’t make it, try some more! There’s simply no such thing as failure – not achieving something means you learn, and then try it all over again till you finally do.