11 Lessons from Failure

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
But sometimes — and more than once, in my case — your schedule and the universe’s just don’t match up.

During such instances, I have learned that it immensely helps to take a few minutes to reflect upon one’s situation and derive the best from it.

  1. One so-called “failure” in the present does not determine the outcome of endless possibilities of the future.
  2. Not attaining tangible rewards should never undermine the innumerable support and good wishes you have been showered with from those who have your best interests at heart.
  3. “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” Those who cheer you up, offer positive feedback, and make you bounce back to your original self are the ones worth cherishing. If you are feeling down, don’t brush aside their efforts to cheer you up. They are doing it because they care.
  4. Bitterness will lead you nowhere. If anything, it will leave you caged in the past, while the beautiful present passes you by and the outcome of a moldable future slips from your hand.
  5. Acquire the wisdom to know what can be changed and what cannot. The past is that one thing which cannot be changed. Accept, learn, and let go.
  6. Mistakes are made by those who have dared to try something new — something different. Treat them as stepping stones to success, not obstacles that deter you from pursuing your goal.
  7. Be proud, not of the glory or successes in your past, but of the scars and wounds which show that you have fought and overcome that which not everyone can claim to have stood up against.
  8. Acceptance, acknowledgment, and/or approval sought from anyone other than yourself is rarely worth the effort. You do not need validation. Stay strong in your own belief in yourself.
  9. Encouraging pitiful glances and gestures is a pity in itself. So, don’t shy away from accepting what has happened, and more importantly — own it and stand tall.
  10. Believe that everything happens for a reason, so why question why? You will get to know when the time is right. “Faith it till you make it.”
  11. Ultimately, transform what you perceive to be a failure to something that others would insist is a success.

Who said “failure” is definite? It is anything but, and it is time you realize that and make yourself believe it.

A version of this was originally published at www.reviewmantra.com on September 23, 2016.

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