Make failures work for you

Make failures work for you


Make failures work for you

It commands respect when you have the courage to tread a different path, irrespective of whether you fail or succeed. For passion and perseverance make a life, while safety and mediocrity make a mere living, asserts Anusha Shashidhar

A company was very excited at having newly hired a famous personality.
On the first day of his joining, they asked, "What can we get you, Sir? You name it."
The man said, "A big dustbin."

When his recruiters looked perplexed, he explained, "I make a lot of mistakes."

There are all kinds of people that walk this earth. There are some who would rather die than take a risk. There are some that only dream of taking a risk but never actually get down to it. There are some who take a risk, fail, and never make that mistake again. Then there those who take risks, make mistakes, and keep trying till they get it right.

Most people are afraid of what will happen to them if they made a mistake or what others would say about it. They take setbacks to be the end of road, facing a blank wall. They take a U-turn and retrace their steps backwards, never to turn back. It takes unyielding determination and courage to get past the blank wall.

It's what sets winners apart from losers. Losers are secretly afraid of the pressure they would undergo if they won (to keep winning), while winners are not afraid of losing. As Shiv Khera (the inspirational author of You Can Win) puts it, to winners, every setback is a comeback, every failure a stepping stone.

Here's the trick behind making failures work for you:

Accept it

Ever watched the movie 2012? Adrian Helmsley, the geologist who keeps updating the president on the earth's crust stability, reports to him that the disaster is coming faster than they thought. When the president says that his reports showed more time, Helmsley simply says, "I'm sorry, Sir. I made a mistake. I was wrong."

Most people do not accept they made a mistake. They blame it on others, they blame it on "misunderstandings", they blame it on luck. They always have excuses. That's where failure finds a way to creep into their lives. Accepting that you made a mistake brings you a step closer to your success. But everytime you blame it on external forces or accept it half-heartedly in a diplomatic manner, it takes you a step backwards. Another brilliant thing about accepting your mistakes is that your critics can say no more. So use it as your shield. Albert Einstein himself said, "Owning up to failure is not a weakness; it's a measure of strength."

Revisit it

After a temporary setback from committing a mistake, revisit the mistake. Analyse it. There is a fine line differentiating between analysing and dwelling upon mistakes. When you repent committing the mistake and keep lamenting about it, you are dwelling upon it. When you try to understand the whys and hows behind the mistake you made, and think about how to do the task better, you are analysing it. Revisit your mistake. Understand why and how you went wrong. Note it down, if you must. See how you can approach the problem differently.

Get over it

Remember the wise-old turtle, Master Oogway, from the animated movie Kung Fu Panda? He says to Po, "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift; that's why it is called the present!" Once you analyse and understand why you had the temporary setback, get over it. It is very important not to over-analyse your mistakes. Else, you might simply keep on analysing it and never actually do something to solve your problem. Give your old problem a fresh look. If you are unable to look at it from a fresh perspective, have a close friend or a mentor help you with it. After all, you do need a mirror to look at yourself.

Stay self-motivated

Thomas Edison once said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." And too right he had. His way of thinking certainly beams light on what makes him the legend that he is today. People around you, including family and friends, won't take you seriously until you actually succeed. In fact, most of them will be waiting to laugh at you. No wonder staying self-motivated is so difficult, huh?

But there are some things you can do to keep yourself going:

-Keep a desk calender that has one motivational thought per day.
- Read at least one motivational or inspirational book per month.
-Put up motivational posters in your bedroom or work station.
- Every night, before sleeping, look into the mirror, gaze deeply into your own eyes and say "You can do it. You know you can." Then, try and visualise your success. Revel in its ecstasy.

Be positive

Brian Tracy, yet another popular inspirational speaker and author, said "Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event." It's true. Ask any successful person, and s/he will tell you they always visualised their success years and even decades before actually attaining it. It isn't over-confidence. It is sheer faith in themselves and their dreams.

Actually visualising their success, and feeling the goosebumps it gives, simply makes them work smartly towards it. This positive attitude is what turns their dreams into goals.  

Never give up

Persistence has no substitute. There was once a man who failed in business at age 21. He was defeated in a legislative race at age 22. He failed again in business at age 24, and had a nervous breakdown at age 27. Then he went on to lose a congressional race at age 34, and again at age 36.

A decade later, he lost a senatorial race at age 45. And then he failed to become the vice-president at age 47. Five years later, he was elected the president of the United States Of America at age 52! That's Abraham Lincoln for you. Need I say anymore?

It is only human to make mistakes. Frankly, there is nothing wrong in making mistakes or having failures. We would never commit them if we knew that we were making mistakes in the first place! But making mistakes is positive. It means you are making new things, or at least trying new things.

It means you are learning, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. It means you're doing things you've never done before. But most importantly, it means you're doing something.

It commands respect when you have the courage to tread a different path, irrespective of whether you fail or succeed. For passion and perseverance make a life, while safety and mediocrity make a mere living.

Have new failures. Have glorious, amazing failures. Have failures nobody's ever had before. Success is not measured by how many times you fall down, but how many times you get back up. Sure, setbacks might take away your momentum for a while.
So, for a while, slow down, but don't freeze. Pause, but don't stop. Fall again, but don't sleep.

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