Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Accepting failure is the sign of your inability

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Hardly there would be anybody, who has not said “This does not work me”, “No matter how hard I try I cannot succeed”, “What is the use of working hard, I don’t get recognised at my work place?” etc. More often than not it is the excuse of the lazy and the feeble minded. The last named excuse is very commonly used in Government offices by employees who want to get paid without work. Government service is the only place where it is impossible to terminate the services of an employee because he/she is not working.

Sunil Gavaskar says frequently on air “If your knocks (read performances) at the selection committee’s door does not open it, keep knocking (performing) until the knock becomes a thud and the door is broken down”. I will stick to examples of sportsmen to drive home this point better because victory in sports requires a perfect co-ordination of mind, heart and body. A sport exposes everybody no matter how great you are because on the given day even Bradman got out for a blob.

If you get success easily, you will never know how to value and preserve it. This can be explained with the example of sportsmen like L Sivaramakrishnan, Sadanand Vishwanath and Vinod Kambli. All of them were immensely talented, found success at a very early age but could not sustain it possibly because they have never had to strive very hard for it. Mathew Hayden and Damien Martyn were discarded from the Australian team for years but came back into it after years of perseverance and performance. The same is the case with our “Bengal Tiger” Saurav Ganguly. There can’t be a better example of fighting back from the brink than Lance Armstrong, the former Tour De France Cycling Champion. He was given 25% or less chances of surviving a losing battle from Cancer but came from death bed to win six consecutive Tour de France titles. If you feel your health, mental state is the reason for you not to achieve success, please read his autobiography “It is not about the Bike”.

Failure to get success despite one’s best efforts is the true test of an individual’s mettle. If you still have the heart for a fight, you will reach the next level and possibly stay at the top for a long time. I admire Navjoth Singh Sidhu and Rahul Dravid for this attribute. Both were dubbed as strokeless wonders and deemed not fit for one day cricket. We all know how they answered their critics. Mohinder Amarnath never got his due from Indian Cricket but his struggle and efforts to make n+1 number of comebacks could put to shame the fable of King Bruce and the spider. The true test for Sania Mirza has come now given that her ranking has dropped from mid 20’s to 100 plus. I like Dhoni a lot but I want to see if he can maintain his cool and smile even when he goes through a sustained lean patch.

Thus the takeaways for anybody dissatisfied with their progress are:-
Success never comes easily and should never come so. Only those who have achieved success after intense struggle value it.
Those who give up because of failures remain mediocre for the rest of their lives.
Giving up because success did not come your way only exposes your inept laziness, lack of innovativeness and not necessarily lack of opportunities or futility of the task.

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