Long journey of my life has witnessed my achievements and setbacks, my happiness and sorrow, my ups and downs, and those things, actually, are the most precious things in my life—my failures. The only way for you to improve yourself is to learn from your failure in the past.
But, it is not an easy thing!!! In fact, what we feared most for ourselves at our age was not poverty, but failure.
I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment. But we still move forward with the whole heart full of hope!
Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.
So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.
How is Life? You know how Monica in the TV series ‘Friends’ said, ‘It sucks, but you gonna love it!’ That is the real world. That’s your life. It doesn’t mean you need to go through many setbacks, but you need to prepare for that worst times.
You may envy Jobs or Gates, for their wealth and company and fame; but have you ever thought about their failure? The cancer of Jobs, and the drop of the Harvard of Gates, teach them a lot! Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s minds, imagine themselves into other people’s places. Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic, which is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathize.
Most parents work hard at either preventing failure or protecting their children from the knowledge that they have failed. One way is to lower standards. A mother describes her child’s hastily made table as “Perfect!” even though it wobbles on uneven legs. Another way is to shift blame. For instance, if John fails science, his teacher is unfair or stupid.
The trouble with failure-prevention devices is that they leave a child unequipped for life in the real world. The young need to learn that no one can be best at everything, no one can win all the time – and that it’s possible to enjoy a game even when you don’t win. A child who’s not invited to a birthday party, who doesn’t make the honor roll or the baseball team, feels terrible, of course. But parents should not offer a quick consolation prize or say, “It doesn’t matter” because it does. The young should be allowed to experience disappointment – and be helped to master it.
Failure is never pleasurable. It hurts adults and children alike. But it can make a positive contribution to your life once you learn to use it. Step one is to ask, “Why did I fail?” Resist the natural impulse to blame someone else. Ask yourself what you did wrong, how you can improve. If someone else can help, don’t be shy about inquiring.
Success, which encourages repetition of old behavior, is not nearly as good a teacher as failure. You can learn from a disastrous party how to give a good one, from an ill-chosen first house what to look for in a second. Even a failure that seems definitive can prompt fresh thinking, a change of direction. After 12 years of studying ballet a friend of mine auditioned for a professional company. She was turned down. “Would further training help?” she asked. The ballet master shook his head. “You will never be a dancer,” he said, ” You haven’t the body for it.”
In such cases, the way to use failure is to take stock courageously, asking “What have I left? What else can I do? ” My friend put away her toe shoes and moved into dance therapy, a field where she’s both competent and useful. failure frees one to take risks because there’s less to lose. Often there’s a resurgence of energy – an awareness of new possibilities.
Hope you can learn from your failure. Those are the things you may treasure forever!