I had a talk with my cousin last night. She sounded unhappy. When I asked her what the problem was, she hesitated. After a long pause, she finally told me the truth. She hadn’t been selected in any of the three campus interviews conducted in her engineering college by some IT companies. When I asked her a straight so what, she became silent. After a moment, she started telling all the details. How much low she was feeling right now and jealous of her classmates who had cracked the interviews. How she too wanted a job badly because her elder sisters and brothers too had succeeded in cracking interviews before her. She was wondering if she is incompetent, dumb and undeserving. She had failed and didn’t know where to go and hide her face. She sounded close to tears.
There are many times when we give up completely when we fail. Be it in a class test, a semester exam, an interview, a project, a job or a career. We may fail in living upto the expectations of our managers or parents. We may fail to fulfill certain promises made to others by us. We may fail in our personal or professional life. But we shouldn’t start sulking and getting drowned in shame. We must not let others hurt us more when we are low and easily touchy at such times.
When I was selected by Infosys, at the same time around a dozen other companies came for campus interviews in my college. I wasn't selected by any other company that conducted placements. I didn’t feel disappointed. Yes, it was shocking at first, when others around me got selected in companies providing higher pay packages and I wasn’t. But then I moved on. I learnt two things in all this. One, those who got selected were more competent than me and that doesn’t mean that I should start doubting my own confidence levels. And second, if I stop and become jealous of others around me, it won’t do me any good. And if things are not doing me any good or making me progress in life, it’s better to move on.
One of my colleagues, popularly known as UJ in our group, has another story to share. When he entered in the generic training at Mysore campus, he was quite excited like others around him. When the training began, he studied and attempted every test after a lot of preparation. But he failed. He had backlogs in his generic which made him wonder if he even deserved to do this training further. He felt alone in classes and wondered if he should just quit. There were many quitters around in the campus at the time of his batch. Before the first day of intermediate training dawned, he was ready to pack his bags and leave. But he thought over it deeply that night. He stopped blaming himself and looked at the situation in front of him. If he quits now, will it not affect his entire future? Is it justifiable to be a quitter anyway? He decided to try his hard work again and this time he made friends who supported him. He enjoyed the new company he got and forced himself to learn about the topics taught in classes mandatorily at the end of each day. If he had any doubts, he didn’t keep quiet. He asked his friends different questions and concepts till his doubts were cleared. He stayed late at night in GEC and studied harder every day. The result? He cleared every exam in intermediate and stream training with flying colours. He scored a whopping 80% or 90% in each test. He started smiling around and gained his confidence back. Today ask him to do something difficult in a project or meet a killer deadline of some pending assignment and he will never say no. He will face it head on.
One of my relatives got a major heart-break in his relationship with his girlfriend or rather, I will say ex-girlfriend. According to him, she used him a lot, made him spend money on all her expensive girlish stuff, forced him to hide their relationship from family and friends, and then he realized the bitter truth. She already had boyfriends previously, had made them do the same thing and then had dumped them all. When she proclaimed to her own friend circle that she wasn’t yet committed to anyone, his heart was crushed. He broke up with her and then went into depression. He stopped eating food and sulked at anyone who approached him for counselling. His parents became anxious on seeing his deteriorating health. When he saw his mother also getting anxious on seeing him at home, sitting silently detached from the world, he realized one thing. What was the point of going into depression now, for a girl who didn’t value his feelings ever? Who is ultimately suffering? Why was he ruining his health, just for that one traitor? He is currently working in a reputed company, is healthy and made a promise to never disappoint his parents for a girl who didn’t deserve him. Or never to ruin his life for another human being who doesn’t care for him.
One of my acquaintances tried his best to get into IITs for 4-5 years. It was his passion and a dream to get admission into an IIT. But it wasn’t easy. His family was poor financially but wanted their son to make his own mark in the world. Bowing under the pressure, he went to Kota to study in one of the best coaching institutes in the country. He is clever, worked hard and attempted every IIT exam with full concentration. But when he failed to clear them every time, he was devastated. Later he realized that it would be better to start on another career when this wasn’t working out for him. A man like him who wanted to go into IIT but failed every time, is an excellent entrepreneur today. He works harder now and delivers lectures on skills to become a good entrepreneur in various technical colleges. He was financially unstable before he started on this new venture. Right now, he has cars and bikes in his garage that Mahendra Singh Dhoni would be quite envious of on knowing about this collection!
One of my friends, failed to make plans and execute them in her professional life. After marriage, she struggled to balance her personal life and make her colleagues happy at work at the same time. She had confusions, didn’t make any advance planning and the pile of work to do at office and the pile of dishes in the kitchen tremendously increased each day. But one day she realized that why she had failed to excel in her life was because of lack of dedication and miserable planning. She started leading her life in a way that would allow her to allot time to do her works properly without taking a toll on her. She got up early every morning, did her walks, made breakfast for all, ate her share and then she made a note of how to do things for the rest of the day. She followed that plan strictly. And she does planning every day. The result? She is a mother of 2 kids, is a manager in a bank and a happy lady who gives yoga classes on weekends to other ladies in her building.
So imagine if you have failed in something. Instead of crying and quitting, stop blaming yourself and think it over. What went wrong? How can you solve it? Can you ask somebody’s help and support to come out of this? If Sachin Tendulkar, after going for a duck in two consecutive matches, had quit and stopped playing further for fear of more failures, would he have achieved so many milestones that the Master Blaster is currently known for? If every Indian director who has had a flop movie in store in the past, refuses to make further films expecting more failures, would we have any movies to watch in the theatres? Remember that you yourself can battle your failures. Family and friends can support you to some extent but in the end, it’s your life and you have to make the ultimate decision. When you have failed, you will feel rejection. You will suffer and your head will seem to crack open in two. But don’t quit. Because winners never quit. And each of us has a winner in us. Which will present itself to the world when the time comes. Till that time go ahead and take a failure bow. Success awaits you on your next step.