‘Failure – Just a State of Mind’

‘Failure’ is something with which no one likes to associate his/her name. Have you ever thought what makes ‘failure’ such an ‘unwelcome’ and ‘undesirable’ episode in life? Or is ‘failure’ really such an ‘unlucky’ or ‘unpleasant’ affair? Is there even something called ‘failure’? Or is it only an ‘illusive character’ occupying a rent-free room in your mind and consistently trying to occupy every inch of the territory of your mind? Where does the roots of existence of failure lie? Think about it.

The motto of this post is not to redefine ‘success’ or ‘failure’. I’ll leave it up to you if you want to. You’d agree that no one likes to fail. However, you must agree that no one chooses to fail.   Have you observed and tried to understand that why failure is often followed by failure? This generally happens in short run and in long run as well, if the cycle is not broken.

Let’s analyse a common scenario. You work hard —You get the desired output—You get motivated. Then you work harder – You get the expected result—You get extra motivation. And that’s how the virtuous cycle of success starts. Perfect. Right? However, make a note that here the driving force behind your hard work is the “success – desired result” which you get in return of your hard work.

Now, let’s investigate another common scenario. You work hard – You do not get the desired result – You get disheartened. Somehow, you manage to work harder – You do not get the expected outcome – You start to lose interest in your work; you lose hope and faith in yourself and your god. Then your extent of hard work decreases gradually with each undesired outcome and eventually your productivity is lost. And this is where the vicious cycle of failure begins. Here, failure follows failure. Why does this happen? The underlying reason is that there is no driving force (of expected output) behind the hard work.

If this cycle is not broken, then this cycle will continue to infinity. The question here is : How should this cycle  be broken? The Answer is simple. Change the driving force behind your hard work. So long as your hard work is attached to the outcome, your success will be dependent on something over which you don’t possess much control. One who performs his duty with due diligence without giving much consideration to outcome, can never fail in life because with each passing moment, that person grows. Remember that life is not a mathematical equation where the outcome will always be in proportion to your input. Of course, there might be n number of other reasons behind failure like wrong strategy, insufficient preparation, emotional or mental instability inter alia, depending on circumstances. These factors can’t be denied from being considered for assessing the root cause of failure.

One of the common mistakes which we commit is that we define success or failure in respect of time. For example, ‘If I don’t clear this exam by 2022(say), I’ll become a failure for the rest of my life.’ Or ‘If I manage to earn Rs X per month before my neighbour completes his education, only then I’ll be branded as successful’. The key is just to adopt a learning attitude and you’ll never fail. I do understand that there are certain well-defined criteria for specific examinations/jobs/professions failing which you can’t grab those opportunities. The point I am trying to make is success or failure should never be confined by some kind of petty deadlines. Life is way above them.

A terrible failure in one career might lead to stupendous achievements and success in another career. Maybe, you were knocking the wrong door. A heart wrenching betrayal in one relationship may land you up with a person who you truly deserve. Maybe you were just being prepared to become a stronger and mature person with indomitable spirit to fearlessly face the upcoming challenges in your life. Don’t announce the verdict too early. Don’t judge yourself by the criteria set by others. Rather, don’t judge at all not yourself, not anyone. Just let it be.

Just imagine you have a perfect body, you have got your dream car, dream house, dream life partner and desired income. You can afford anything in this universe you can dream of. You have earned appreciation, fame and power. In short, you have achieved more than your expectations in all aspects of your life at a very early stage of your life. Basically, you have everything perfect in your life. Are you able to perceive how boring your life would become if there is nothing left which challenges your potential? ‘Beauty lies in imperfection’. I am not asking you to settle for less or live a miserable life. Rather lead an abundant life and never settle for anything less than what you can achieve. The crux is what you have right now is the best.

All I am saying is stop cribbing about what you don’t have in life. Work hard to go where you are capable of reaching on a daily basis and eventually you’d be there. Never blame yourself for your failures. Do take responsibility to learn from your failures. But never be ashamed of your failures. No one can be a better teacher than ‘life’. Learn from the daily exams of life. When in extreme distress, try to live and focus on ‘one day at a time’. If that becomes difficult, take ‘one hour or one minute at a time’. Focus on ‘NOW’.

What is considered as good or bad or success or failure today might not be considered the same after ‘X’ months or years. ‘Achievement’ in one society might be termed as ‘disgraceful’ in another society. Everything is relative in this universe.

I say, fail terribly, fail early, and learn early to persevere. Success might or might not teach you anything, but failure teaches a lot. Failure is just like a bitter pill which you need to take to cure your illness. Develop a rock solid will power to fight till the last breath of your life.

Life really becomes very difficult at times. It may seem as you are drowning in an ocean of distress, rejection, dejection, hatred and self-doubt and you don’t know how to swim. But trust this: there is always a way out, only if you are willing to find it.

The fact that you are alive; that you have a ‘life’ to live is in itself is a blessing and is an everlasting reason to rejoice. There is always a ‘someone’ who is longing to live that extra day to spend some more time with his/her loved ones, but s/he is not as fortunate as you are. Don’t take your life for granted. Enjoy each and every passing moment of life.

Always be grateful for what you have and keep doing back breaking hard work for what you want to earn in your life so that when you look back in your life you’d feel proud of yourself.

Stay happy. Stay blessed.

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