You will treat failure differently after reading this

Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash

We all are scared to fail. It is not a good feeling. We work hard for a dream. Give it our blood and sweat. In the process, we start visualising the amazing life we can have after we achieve this dream. Then we fail. And after that most of us drop down our weapons. We stop pursuing that beautiful dream.

Most of us give up after 1 or 2 failures. Only a few warriors still keep fighting. These are the people who actually are successful.

We need to understand that the true test of life isn’t to see whether you will fall, it’s whether you will get back up after you fall. If we really want that dream to come true, stopping after failing is the worst thing to do.

See success is a probability. And this probability is never 1. Because luck will always have a part to play. We on our end can only put efforts to keep the probability as high as possible to minimise the factor of luck. And keep in mind that the factor of luck can never be zero. Let me explain how this probability increases when you fail, provided you are learning from every failure.

Let me tell you a story and teach you a concept

Probability of Success

Chuck secretly loves his best friend Scarlett. She is also giving him some hints. Chuck has finally decided to express his feelings. He wants to learn to play the guitar and record her favourite song and send it to her. He gives himself 2 months to accomplish this task because he wants it to be perfect.

Let’s define Chuck’s success as S.

P(S) = Probability of Success

Let’s say his current P(S) = 0.5, means he has a 50% chance of success.

He starts learning guitar online. Practices once every 3 days. Records the song after 2 months.

It turns out to be a disaster.

Chuck is devastated. He asks himself can he even do this. Now, this is a big moment in the story. Will he stop here, or he will learn from his mistakes and give it another try. He chooses the latter.

Chuck gives himself a day to analyse what went wrong.

1) He is practicing once every 3 days. He needs to do it every day.

2) He needs a teacher/mentor.

3) He needs some practice on his vocals.

He gives himself another month. Scarlett’s birthday is also 30 days away. This would be perfect, he feels. Chuck grabs his headphone, listens to that song 10 times, gets motivated, and starts again.

“Don’t be afraid to start over again. This time, you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience”.

This time his probability of success has increased

P(S) = 0.6, means he has 60% chances of success

He hires a tutor, practices every day for the next month. He does some vocal training. A month goes by. He records again.

It’s not up to the mark he wanted.

He knows he can’t send this to her. Tomorrow is her birthday. The negative voice starts to take charge. Can I even do it, he questions himself? Should I just forget it? But he realises one thing, this recording is much better than the last time. It means he is doing something right. He decides to give it one more shot.

Again Chuck gives himself a day to analyse what went wrong.

1) He is having problems playing the F chord. It’s not perfect.

2) His singing and strumming are not in sync sometimes.

3) His strings are old and are not giving him the sound he desires.

Let’s give this task 15 more days, he tells himself. This time he is confident. He gives himself a pat on his back. It’s game time.

His probability of success has increased drastically this time.

P(S) = 0.80, 80% chances of success this time

Now he buys new strings, practices the F chord religiously, and tries to bring his singing and strumming in sync.

On the 8th day, he feels that the song is coming on nicely now. He is pretty confident to get it done this time. He calls Scarlett to ask what’s up.

She tells him she has been asked on a date by someone.

He is sad and insecure now. But Chuck is a mature person.

He gives himself a few pointers

1) Calm down Chuck. This is just a date.

2) I haven’t expressed my feelings till now. I am not in the game yet.

3) I am very close to my dream. Let’s focus on what I can control.

“The biggest hurdles usually comes when you are closest to your destination”

He takes 3 deep breaths. Tries to shut down all the negative talk. Gets ready to put in the last stride.

15 days are over.

He records himself. He is ecstatic.

This is exactly what he wanted. To hell with the recording, he directly calls Scarlett and asks her to come home. Brings out the guitar and sings to her, her favourite song.

Then he proposes.

She has tears in her eyes. She always loved him.

Photo by Caleb Ekeroth on Unsplash

The most important lesson that Chuck teaches us is that failure is just a detour, not a dead-end street. Lessons learned from one failure can significantly increase our probability of success next time we try.

So the next time you fail. Don’t stop, just increase your probability of success.

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Yash Raj

Yash Raj

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Here to help people in their personal development. Software developer by skill, an artist by passion. Writing my first book, "The burn of failure"