Lessons To Learn From Failure


From very formative years as students, the need to get better grades, to be in limits, to behave and show respect becomes part of their life and routine. They have been told that following rules and leading a disciplined life will lead them to the greater success in life. Most students sheepishly follow these protocols assigned by parents or teachers. They stay away from trying something new and out of the box and hedge their life on old conventional wisdom's. They try to find shortcuts to minimize risk of failures to achieve success.

The fear of failing to being a failure in the society has gripped our minds and some may also sing ‘Sadda Haq’ out of frustration! It becomes very essential to understand the real essence of failure.

Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins said:

"Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up."

The quote infuses a sense of optimism that you can always learn something new every time you experience failure. And that learning equips you to come back stronger from the depth of failure. A Proponent of the fail theory is entrepreneur turned VC - Vinod Khosla, who has made a deep impact on young minds about the importance of failure in life. He believes its nearly improbable to be successful until you try something new and fail at it. In his speeches he always asks students to overcome the fear of failure and not be afraid of it because nobody remembers failure.

Does anybody remember how many ideas and products in which Google invested millions of dollars has gone went into deadpool? Who cares! Google founders faced discouragement by industry experts about their search business. On the IPO of Google, financial experts predicted that they have no viable financial model to sustain and will be wiped off the market when internet dies. But Sergey Brin and Larry Page constantly challenged this conventional wisdom and continued to be at the edge of being acceptable in society -- a place where you can find a lot of action.

So what does that instance teach us, don’t follow expert advices, because it can be wrong in some cases. Google founders’ succeeded not only because they were outstanding in academics but they were also persistent enough to follow what they believed in.

So moral of the story is:

  • Challenge conventional wisdom.
  • Question everything and everyone.
  • Challenge experts and teachers.
  • Explore new areas and subjects. Nothing you learn will be relevant in next 10 years.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Look for real achievements. Skills not degrees.
  • Do unusual things. Get out of the comfort zone and don’t fit in.