Failure – It is a LURE for Success

Failure – It’s a LURE for Success.
Not everyone can say that they always meet with success. Every one must have tasted failure, and the consequences that follow – disappointment, loss of confidence, losing interest, the fear that grips ‘what would happen, if I fail again’, the mental block, leading them sometimes not to try their hand at the task again. This happens to writers, actors, musicians, players of various games, people holding jobs in various positions, researchers, politicians, and so on. Michael Jordan, the famous basket ball player who won the Most Valuable Player Award five times, in his biography, ‘Driven from Within’ talks about failure thus: ‘I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.’ The message is clear.


Today’s world is a world of competition, where every one is forced to compete with each other to survive,to sustain their job, to succeed in life. . The internet technology has opened up
a huge basket of technological aids in the hands of people and to remain constantly updated itself is a job, full of strain – what with the plethora of appliances that come day after day – the mobile, the computer, the iPad, tablets, iPhones, and so on and so forth. It is a whole new digital world that we all live in.
Why we fail

People fail because of various reasons. The following are the general causes:
Fear, Inadequate preparation, mental block, lack of confidence, failure to gauge the opponent’s strength etc.

How to Combat Failure


Fear to face up to the situation is the most important cause for failure. People should analyze why should one fear, because whether you fear or not, the result of your attempt could
still be what it has to be. The good part of failure: failure makes you think as to why you failed.
According to Henry Ford, (The Autobiography of Henry Ford – My Life and Work) ‘one who fears the future, who fears failure, limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again. There is no disgrace in honest failure, there is disgrace in fearing to fail. What is past is useful only as it suggests ways and means for progress.’

Inadequate preparation:

Think of an interview. If you fail here, you feel frustrated and demoralized. But rather than feeling so, you should try to analyze the causes. It could mainly be due to inadequate preparation. Full preparation is essential in such cases. Remember also that your competitors are also equally, if not more, qualified and prepared for the situation. Remember, if you fail to prepare, you are preparing for failure.

Mental block
This is a situation where one finds oneself suddenly stuck up, a kind of ‘fall off the wagon’, not knowing how to move forward, totally in dark, confused and bewildered. This happens very often in a long project or program without any clue as to what really happened. It is like a red traffic signal where the only thing you can do is to stop for some time and ponder over. Getting ‘re-started’ is often not possible easily. Some solutions to this kind of failure is to keep your mind free for some time, think afresh, change the ‘track’ and try to catch up. It is said that Thomas Edison succeeded where others failed or never tried because it was his nature to dare. So think of cultivating such a habit; and try to emerge like the sun, after passing through a track of dark cloud.

History is replete with stories of many failures which ultimately turned to achievements. Time, luck, right opportunity all these play an important part. You should comfort yourself by the thought that you have only failed this time and never forget to try again. Cultivate this habit of never giving up, until you reach your goal.

Building confidence

Confidence, rather self-confidence is a must in all of us. Believe in yourself, your capabilities. your strengths, all the positives that could work in favor of you. As Paulo Coelho says in his book Alchemist, ‘when you want to get something done, the universe will conspire to make you achieve that.’ In some other book, I had read that nature provides us everything we want. We have only to ask, believe and you will receive what you want. Belief and confidence have to go hand in hand.
‘The truth is that failure is not a rarity experienced by the unlucky few; if we’re honest, it is a constant – albeit rarely lethal – state of affairs. In fact, it’s likely that you’ve already failed, or will soon (article by Dory Clark, titled ‘Stop Believing that You Have to be Perfect, HBR, October 2014). . Another quote by Swamy Parthasarathy is also very relevant in this context, ‘Living is an art, a skill, a technique. You need to learn and practice it as you would a game or musical instrument.’ And, finally, I would say, embrace failure and the warmth of the embrace will empower you to improve – and succeed.


About cvsubramaniam

Former Director, Department of Electronics & Informatiin Technology, Government of India.. Authored Book on Human Resource Management. Published 80 plus articles on HR, Management, S&T, general topics.
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