24 Nov 2022  |   05:49am IST


Ibonio D’Souza

How often have students cried copious tears, when they have seen their mark sheets reading poor scores! But, why indeed, do they rue their fate, when in fact, it is their failure at any activity which teaches them life’s most important lesson: to strive continually. Industrialist, Henry Ford, and founder of the Ford Motor had put this so succinctly: “Failure is an opportunity to begin again, more intelligently”.

Celebrated Inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, on his arduous journey towards inventing the bulb had failed nearly 1,000 times but did not give up. In his own words, every failure was a galvanising factor which led him towards success. Yes, what makes a success story is not the fact that we are always successful in every venture. On the contrary, what makes us successful is our ability to convert our failures into stepping stones towards success.

When life takes twists and turns, we never could have imagined, landing us in the quagmire of failure, suddenly we are caught unaware and life seems all too gloomy. That is exactly what happens to our students who study hard, all year round, only to have their exam results take a nose dive.

At this crucial time, as supportive parents, teachers, and members of society, it is our duty to guide them to make the right decisions and ensure that they recover from their doom and gloom scenario. It would be a good idea to remind them of the numerous success stories worldwide. If you dig deep, all of them started the hard way, with society often scorning their ideas.

Who wouldn’t be familiar with the plight of countless software engineers who landed up in Silicon Valley, USA, with next to nothing in their pockets? They could have just packed up their bags and gone home thinking there is no scope or hope for them. But they chose to stay back and persevere. That is why we have numerous success stories like Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and others. America has been the land of plenty and riches to countless innovators and dedicated individuals like Henry Ford and even Walt Disney.

About Walt Disney, did you know for instance that he was really well-known for his ‘stick-to-it-iveness’, aka perseverance? Working in an immensely creative field, he needed to constantly innovate. Once his ideas were stolen by one of his work mates. But he never gave up. He started from scratch and that is how he became the name that he is today.

It is imperative that we need to train students in not merely gearing up for success, but to be cautioned and be well prepared for failures. Treat failure as a lab experiment gone wrong. So what, if things don’t work out well the first time; start again from scratch. Rejoice in the moment and immerse yourself in it. Take joy in the journey. You will eventually, reach your destination and reap the rich dividends of it all.

What is then success ultimately? Is it standing on a pedestal holding a gleaming trophy and winning the adulation of an admiring audience? Success is being grounded in life’, knowing that life is transitory. If you have a gleaming trophy in your hand today, tomorrow you could be kicking the dust. You are a real success if you get up, move on and reinvent yourself. 


Iddhar Udhar