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Learning from Failure

It is said that a river never goes to the ocean in a straight line. It always has to create its own meandering path. Now I’d like to think of it this way- if the mighty river water doesn’t get it easily, we are only human beings.


Whenever I think of a synonym for failure, I can only recall one word - lesson.


We would never be able to see light without the existence of darkness. What is equally true is that failures are a vital part of this process we call life. One may or may not come across many failures in their life, but we all tend to hold different meanings for failure- for some it is a feeling, for some it is a state of being and to some, it is completely material. But I have realized that the most important part is how we deal with them. While we celebrate our achievements and sulk at failures, why are we, at the same time, not humble towards our achievements and willing to learn from our failures?


Homo Sapiens are a curious species and this instance might be from the Paleolithic Age, where some of us might have put our hand in the fire for others around to realize that we shouldn’t put our hand in the fire, why? Because someone did not know it would end in failure and that is exactly how we tend to look at problems that exist in life. But the good side of it is that, I am sure nobody else has ever done that again.


I personally have come across multiple failures in life and to be honest, I was definitely sad when I failed. If I had not felt that, it would have made me frivolous. But it is at that point that failure becomes nothing but a lesson to learn from. By walking on a plain road, we will never be able to understand what walking on a rocky road feels like. Similarly, we need to know that life has given us a chance to look at our mistakes, learn from them and improvise next time. Failure is not the end of the road, but actually the end of a tunnel. It shines a light upon what we would have never see until we actually failed.


One incident I remember distinctly is when I had failed my preliminary examinations in the 9th Std. and with the same progress, I am sure I would have failed my final exams too. I remember how disappointed and shameful it was for me and moreover for my parents to see that ‘F’ against a subject on my report card. It wasn’t like I was afraid of Science, I always dreamt of being an astronaut/astronomer and I was always fond of it and I still am. I had to take tuitions to know what exactly I was lacking and this, I would have never been able to realize without my Tutor, who has been and always will be my inspiration for life. 9 years ago, I was half the age of the number of years of experience she had. I had realized that it wasn’t the liking of that subject but the way I was learning it that was wrong. Instead of just reading through the chapters, highlighting the important parts, I wrote down the parts and soon I started to remember and recall things with much ease. I still remember her way of teaching students about subjects, but an even greater way to teach a human being about life.


Just days before my first Board exam, she told me one thing- “Always put all your efforts into anything that you do in life; the most important thing is you must never give yourself a chance to regret it.” This has stayed with me in all the endeavours that I have chosen till today. With time, this definition made more and more sense to me and I say that failures are nothing but stepping-stones for us. I am really glad to have failed in whatever I did. First and foremost, it taught me the value of success and secondly, it taught me to accept that failing is not wrong, as long as you are giving your best. To conclude, I agree in celebrating victories, but I will always believe in being gracious while accepting defeat.

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