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What I Learnt From Failing

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I have ‘failed’. Yes, I have failed multiple times.

There are moments when I believe I have become accustomed to ‘losing’ and fear the strengthening status of projects I am affiliated with. I fear developing a weakness as a consequent. When a certain state becomes unchanged, it forms a comfort zone around you that becomes a hindrance in your progress.

As the cliché goes, ‘everything that rises must fall’. The sun rises and sets everyday too. Do we call dusk a ‘failure’ of the sun?

Why then is every situation that does not meet the pre-set benchmarks termed as a ‘failure’? A possibility is that the benchmark set wasn’t ‘perfect’ in the first place.

My first ‘failure’, would be not being offered acceptance at the university I desired to attend. But as times passed by and I look back at the years, I doubt terming the incident as a ‘failure’ now. It changed my life for the better.

If I am to define failure, it would be an act of losing something of particular significance. Watching cricket closely as a child and observing Imran Khan (undoubtedly the most ‘powerful’ captain of our national side) as I grew up, made me realize it was not always about ‘winning’ but rather fighting a not- so-favorable situation till the eventual end.

Failure usually leads to an emotional dis-balance. The fighting spirit must be so that it does not let the ‘you’ in yourself get hurt in the meanwhile. I explain the emotional side of an individual with the following diagram (it’s not that philosophical!):

For you to overcome the above mentioned dis-balance, it is essential that the element of ‘you’ remains intact.

Mentors often say, ‘It is okay to fail. If you have to fail, fail fast’. We are rarely told about the coping mechanism for failure.

I started a company that failed within two years of operations. But we did not quit. We accepted responsibility, took a step back and identified where we could have done better. The company runs as a profitable entity today with not much contribution or interference from my end anymore.

One thing that I have learnt from failing is HHRC – hardcore human resource management! Connecting with people may seem difficult; establishing relationships is an art. I believe I gained the ability to understand people better by being in failing situations. To get the maximum results, it is essential that you rightly identify the strengths and weaknesses of people you interact with.

True relations, based on respect and trust, which you manage to build over time remain with you even after you fail. That’s an asset you gain from failing alone.