What is Failure? Is Failure Permanent? What is the Relation between Failure and Success?
Before going into these questions, just try to find the way by entering left side and coming out of right side of the following maze in one attempt.
Did you succeed in your first attempt? It is very difficult to solve this maze in one attempt but could be solved in subsequent attempts because it is designed in such a way; so are our worldly problems. Failure is not an end that nothing could be done further. It only says that one is on wrong path; just try again. If we go in the etymology of the word ‘failure’, we would find that it is derived from Latin word ‘fallere’ which means ‘to deceive’ i.e. one is misled in his path. As one is succeeded in solving this maze in more than one attempt by remembering the wrong ways and not entering them, so one could succeed in life also by following the same principle.
Failure is not an end but a door to success. No one can ever reach success without entering this door. In the words of Michael Jordan, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeeded.” David Copperfield was penned after the tragedy faced by Charles Dickens in his first love. O. Henry found author in himself after meeting a great misfortune which ended in his prison in Columbus. In fact, all the great works are written in prison. There are many proofs in support of the statement such as Pilgrim’s Progress, My Experiments With Truth, Mein Kemf etc.
There lived a man who failed in business at the age of 21; was defeated in a legislative race at 22; failed again in business at 24; overcame death of his beloved at 26; had a nervous breakdown at 27; lost a congressional race at 34; lost senatorial race at 45; failed in an effort to become Vice President at 47; lost a senatorial race again at 49; and was elected President of the United States at 52. He was Abraham Lincoln. Success is not determined by one’s position but by the number of hurdles one overcomes to reach it. It is the failures that make success a special or an important experience.
Dale Carnegie is a noted authority on social behavior and business communication. He is author of the most famous and acclaimed book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ which was published in the year 1936 and is still a hot cake of market. In his extensive interviews with successful persons, he found that successful persons loved to talk about their initial struggling stages with great delight. After all, incidences of initial failures are the greatest determinants of best selling biographies.
At this stage, I’d like to introduce you one of my greatest inspiration, an ant. It is strange but true. In my childhood, like most children, I also used to play by torturing insects. One day I found an ant lost its way and wandering alone in my verandah. I put water around it and confined it to ground encircled by water. It swam the water and came out; and I again pour water around it to confine it within the thick line of water but again it came out. This process continued until ant died. I felt sad because I didn’t want to kill it but suddenly out of my grief a thought stroked me that if an ant chose to die but didn’t surrender to circumstances how could I? I took the ant out of the water and froze it within the wax of candle and kept it with me to remind me that one does not fail until he surrenders.You can see the wax made tomb of the ant in the picture below.
If you think that what the ant got by sacrificing its life; then I’d like to remind you that perhaps it is the only ant that is remembered as inspiration; has a tomb whose picture is posted on internet. Do you call it a failure?
Any physical impairment or even death could not be labeled as failure because Beethoven was deaf, Milton was blind, Hellen Keller became deaf, dumb and blind shortly after birth while Socrates was poisoned and Christ was crucified.
Now, I tell you about a system somewhat similar to life, a pendulum. An ideal pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. When its bob is raised to a certain height on one side and released; it will reach the same height on the other side. Failure and success could be considered as the two extremes of pendulum. If one reaches one extreme, he reaches the other too.
An experiment of quantum physics was carried out in Geneva which involved the production of pairs of photons in lab. For some of these pairs, one member was sent by optical fiber to the village of Bellevue while other was sent to the town of Bernex. The two towns lie more than 10 km apart. Experiments on the arriving photons are performed in both villages essentially the same time. The observed connections between the outcomes of these experiments confirmed the non locality of quantum reality i.e. if certain properties of two systems are known to be correlated; then finding out about one system could tell something about the other. Failure and success could be considered as pair of photons. It doesn’t matter how apart they are; knowing one could tell about other. So if you think success is tough, go for failure. You’ll ultimately meet success at end.
There lived a Prince Siddhartha around 400 BC in Shakya clan, whose capital was Kapilavastu, which at present is in Nepal. He was married and had a son. It was forecasted by astrologers that if he saw misery in life, he would become a sage. So, he was not allowed to go out. The persons who were hired for his service were young, healthy and beautiful so that he would have no idea about being old, diseased or ugly. One day, somehow, at the age of 29, he managed to go out of his palace and saw an old man, a diseased man and a corpse. These depressed him, and as predicted, he abandoned his family and palace and left for jungle in quest of truth. He learned yoga, kept fasts and wandered from one guru to another but all his effort went into vain. Despite his utmost sincere efforts, he was not moving an inch further after attaining a certain stage of ritual. He got bored and finally, renounced all rituals, gave up fasts and even stopped practicing yoga. It is said that he was tired and sat under a banyan tree. He did not have any strength for thinking even about his quest: neither success nor failure. He was just there and nothing further could be said about his state. From outside, it appears a state of absolute failure but inside some transformation took place and he got enlightenment. He was Gautam Buddha and the tree under which he got wisdom is famous as the Bodhi tree which is situated in Bodh Gaya, India.
The secret of success lies in the irony of life. It is seen in the story of Buddha that he found what he wanted after he abandoned the very desire of it.
Hope the article fans the flame of POSITIVITY within you.
Have a nice day!