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.


Week 1: Notions of Success

Dear Abhishek,

This week I had a chance to revisit the idea of success, what does it consists of, does it have a singular meaning or does it change from person to person. Below, I summarize my learning on three concepts related to success which I think we can benefit from.

  1. I conventionally though of success as something which makes my family happy, it gave me happiness too. We are on the right track with this one but here is a thought, will simply being happy give you the satisfaction that is heavenly? Research shows that a better approach to success is to hit a range of dimensions including self, family, work and community in the realms of happiness, achievement, significance and legacy. Time is limited, try out activities which hit a lot of these dimensions together and I believe you will see a difference.
  2. Sometimes even after achieving something you may feel empty inside, what causes this? The answer my friend is lack of coherence of your action with your values. I have created a list of values for us and Freedom, Courage and Unity are on the top of it. Yay! The idea is to pursue opportunities where the way to success reinforces these values rather than hurting them. Keep an eye open for a match and have a blast.
  3. I have learned over the years to not compare my situation with someone else. Everyone has a different story and you simply can’t judge people and start comparing. This learning shows that we are correct on this one. One potential way of positive comparison is to delve into the story of the person you see as a success be it your mentors or your peers and find out how did they do it? You can then possibly learn something out of it and apply to your own life.

As a final appeal, get out of the definitions set out by peers, family and society. Listen to your own heart! Make ambitious goals and keep them on a realistic time period and don’t be afraid to fail (we talk about this next week).

Keep rocking!

The truth of life ;)

Hello me ,

It is with immense pleasure that I write to you about the truth of life that has been figured by you/me in a dream today. It may seem illogical but it has at the moment got your/mine full gut support and intuition. It is so profound that I am ready to follow it till I cease to live. I am sure you will follow it too, as this is the truth that defines our existence in this mortal and intellectual world. As such there was no need to make a written version of this.

However, due various situations and circumstances, a time may arise when you may feel that this is not the truth and try to find meaning elsewhere. No one knows for sure what the actual truth is, to each his own. In such moments of indecision, I present to you a written version of the truth to ponder upon and decide. You will be the master always. Even if you become a slave for someone, even then you are your own master. Before starting, there is one simple fact that needs to be mentioned: The truth is so profound, huge and clear that I for one may not be able to put it into words, but I will give it a go under this morning sunshine.

“The ultimate truth of life is life goes on, your only task is being happy. Let go off all worries and focus always on the bright side. Fill your heart with passion and work for long lasting happiness. Be instinctive, be thoughtful, be sincere, be a motivator, be ready, be in the moment. There will always be a bright side, focus on that only and you shall relish the truth. Work towards your goals to make this life better. Tragedies are a part of life and will be there to test you. Do not fall, do not stop, keep moving, keep trying. You must try to improve on you as life progresses, you have only got one life and if you are not taking it ahead, you are disrespecting your life. Life is not meant to be disrespected, it’s the single greatest thing that has occurred to you, courtesy of your parents. If you are wasting your time, not putting full effort and not enjoying in the moment; then it shows disrespect to your life. Are you sure you want to do this? People will be there to uplift you, break you, ridicule you, scold you,  curse you, envy you, be an ass to you. You know what, it does’t matter (life goes on). These have not learned their truth yet, so pray in silence for them and move on. There are no hard and fast rules of life but this is all I can put up from my dream. Enjoy the journey, every second’s worth of freedom, embrace change, be adaptable, work smart, train hard and always remember to EXCELSIOR! ”

No one, absolutely no one can avoid the voids of life but you see, the universe is infinite and life goes on. In this space-time continuum you have got more than enough ways to fill that void of your’s, make yourself completely full with life and while at it, you can also fill the voids of others around you. Mother Teresa was here at this point. However some may go for the root cause analysis and preach the truth itself so that everyone can benefit from it. Buddha was here at this point. But the sad thing is, truth of life is a matter which needs immense strength in believing and deep conviction in heart, such that it is not even momentarily disturbed by the tsunami of situations and circumstances brought in by life. You see, life is itself infinite in context. It is very important to choose what to live for as the options are infinite and your choice must be the happy way for you. Show some respect for your existence. Get up and start moving, nah! run wild.

NOTE: Whenever your spirit is low do this : Kame….. Hame…… Haaaaaaa