Health & Fitness
How to Cope with Failure?
Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem “If” whose first couple of verses was later immortalized
on the wall of the player’s entrance to the centre court at Wimbledon. It read "If
you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same".
Words of pure wisdom!
The Bhagavad Gita, Holy Scriptures of Hinduism conveys the same truth. Failure and
success are a part of life. Focus on the thought, word and deed because these and
only these you can truly control. The end result is not necessarily an outcome of
your thought, word and deed alone but may be determined by other factors which are
well beyond your control. This is what some people term as “luck”.
Hence a simple question for us. If failure and success are a part of everyone’s
life no matter what heights they have scaled then why feel despondent about it?
If the end result is not always in our control then why worry about it?
The wise will realize this simple truth about life and focus and channelize much
of their energy and effort during the journey of life on the process of achieving
an outcome rather than the outcome itself.
For every scientist who worked towards discovering a drug only one may succeed.
But each of them has contributed because their attempts taught someone what won’t
work and hence expend their time and energy on a better idea. As humans we always
insist on viewing life in black or white.
But most of the time life presents itself in shades of grey. While your honest attempt
may have gone unnoticed or failed miserably it will definitely offer some crucial
learning. These serve as a guiding torch for you or for others who choose to derive
answers from your story.
It is amazing how in a truly materialistic society you are taught to believe that
you either achieve your goal and thereby succeed else you don’t and hence you fail.
What most people forget that the learning and true accomplishment is in the journey
and not the end result.
Take the case of this brilliant student who always stood first in class. Then due
to some personal tragedy this child lost focus and started underperforming at school.
She was now “failing” where she had previously “succeeded”. She lost her “friends”
and the admiration of her “teachers”. All her well wishers disappeared and yet she
recalls those years as her most successful. This is because those years taught her
the most important lessons in life. She realized how fickle relationships and respect
was, now here and gone tomorrow. She realized that people loved her because of her
accomplishments and not because of who she is. She realized what it felt like to
be overlooked in class, she understood what it like to be “non-performer” and she
understood her fellow human beings. These years taught her to self-reliant, humble,
compassionate and patient.
She understood that failure befalls everyone and hence lent an understanding ear
when bad times fell on someone. She understood that good times and bad times are
both passing phases and learnt to coach herself through highs and lows that “This
too shall pass!”.
She learnt the meaning of the word “Life”.
She is not alone in this world. There are scores of people who have found failure
to enrich their lives more than success ever could. All it needs is a little introspection
and you will be amazed at how well you not just coped with the trauma but came out
on the other side a far more realized soul.
So go on and embrace those failures, don’t shun them for they have a lot more to
offer than you think!