August 07, 2011

Success is a four-letter word

“Remember, the arrow that hits the bullseye is the result of a hundred previous misses.”

Show me a person who has not failed and I will find you Santa Claus on the moon.

It is one of life's simple rules: we all have to fail.

Even the seemingly most successful people do not walk the journey of life without tripping on at least  one or two big failures. The question is, when. With most successful people, failures happen within the first 30 years of their lives. Then, of course, there are some who reach the age 50 with no failures – and then Boom!

Like my friend who was brilliant throughout his academic years. He always stood first in everything, also winning every inter-school and college competition he participated in, by big margins. He was a PhD by the age of 26, and had gained international recognition while still on the right side of forty – never tasting failure even once. And then, after his 50th birthday came a flurry of failure.

I have failed miserably too. I failed in Class VIII and did deplorably in math, science and French. Five years later, I was refused admission to a premier college in Calcutta because they told me I flunked the admission test.

These failures are the cornerstones of all I am today.

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I have missed. I have failed over and over in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan