Week 2: Dealing with Failure

Hey there Abhishek,

This week I delved into the realm of failure, a rarity for us as we have hardly introspected on this aspect of our lives. Most of the times, when faced with failure I have overlooked it and moved on. Here comes a chapter, which wants me to stand still and stare at its face. Here is how we can benefit by understanding this monster.

  1. Remember the good old days when you were in primary school. The pressure for grades was on and you were a razor-sharp beast at getting them. You took the shortest path to the assumed goal (perfect grades). As time flew by, we have both realized that such an approach is not the best one neither sustainable and have mended our ways of doing things with a holistic view, the way of the optimalist. But somewhere inside you still lives that perfectionist who wants to get what he wants, at any cost. Let this message act as a warning for you to keep that beast in control and choosing and optimalist way of doing things consciously.
  2. One of the primary associations that you have with failure is “fear of failure”. This is the elephant in the room. No matter what you want to do, this guy is just sitting there and giving you the same old boring nudge. Interestingly, many people in the class shared the same thought. There were those who felt that failure will lead to inferior judgement from the society and others who felt that their efforts will account to nothing. You have a mix of both in you. Firstly, don’t take yourself so seriously all the time, you are a mere spec in this galaxy. Do you care what other specs think about you, how they judge you? Failure is inevitable, learn from it and hit back harder. You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take. Deal with it!
  3. Now to some good news, resilience. This is a big factor in dealing with failure and I think you have demonstrated a fair bit of resilience in your live, not Victor Frankl level but appreciable. Claps! You are good at staying grounded and improvising; but can improve in finding meaning out of tough situations. Make it a learning opportunity, imagine a future utility of your hardship and carry on. Never play the victim card and never back down.

To conclude this letter, look at your own crisis situations. The one where you failed thrice to clear SSB, the one with a dead-end job in Noida, the one with a shady school and dad posted elsewhere; what do all these three have in common. They have served as catalysts for an accelerated spurt of growth. It was only when you lost it, that you rebounded stronger each time, would you be sitting here writing this letter otherwise? This does not mean that you should go out looking for crisis situations but to help you understand that the fear of failure is just not worth it, look at it whichever way you want.