Monday, September 10, 2007

Overcoming Your Failures and Be Successful

Different people measure success differently. While some may define
success as the number of cars a person has, others see it simply as a steady
job that pays the bills. Whatever the definition, most people shudder to
think of themselves as a failure.

Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the light bulb and 100 other inventions
once said of his failures, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways
that won't work." To top that when he was a youngster, his teacher told him
he was too stupid to learn anything. He was counseled to go into a field
where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality.

Bill Gates, one of the most successful men of our times too went through tough times.
In retrospect he says, "It's fine to celebrate success but it is more
important to heed the lessons of failure."

A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he "lacked imagination and had no original ideas".

The list of people who succeeded after failures is long. However, great
success doesn't happen to everyone. Twenty-eight-year-old Hemant Sabnis says
success eluded him for almost 10 years.

"I tried for many jobs but could not get any," recollects the engineering
graduate. "I was absolutely fed up. I must have sent out thousands of
applications. I even got selected for a few interviews. And then something
would go wrong. Either my qualification was a problem; sometimes even my
body language was a problem."

He remembers the times when he was so down in the dumps that he refused to
meet people. "I would avoid my friends. I stopped going out," he reminisces,
"Nothing interested me. I had almost lost all faith in myself."

What then salvaged this young man? His father's trust in him. "My father is
retired. He had a lot of aspirations from my sister and me. I realised that
I wasn't being able to fulfill his wishes. That hurt even more than not
being able to land a job," he adds.

Then came a time that seeing his son morose saddened the father. "He told me
that it was okay if I did not have a job. He was more hurt that I was
depressed. It was then that I decided to give it one more shot," he says.

This time around the circumstances were the same but Hemant's outlook had
changed. He was now more positive. "I decided to try a different approach at
interviews. I read up on how to be more jovial and smiled through my
interviews," he says.

And after three tries he was successful. He now works as a junior engineer
in an iron moldings factory in Kolhapur. "I know the path ahead of me now. I
also know there are a lot of people like me out there. I want to tell them
that they need to have faith in themselves first. Things will eventually
fall in place," he smiles.

When the going gets tough

Vikas Bhande from Mumbai has a similar tale to tell. Vikas was born into a
poor family where his mother, the sole breadwinner, was employed as a maid.
He recollects days when they had little or no food. "For years my mother did
people's dishes and scrubbed people's floors," says this spunky 25-year-old,
"Her aim was to provide education for all three of us. My other siblings
though didn't study too far."

Vikas was always interested in studies. However, one incident changed the
purpose of his entire life. That was in his fifth standard. "I failed my
exam in the fifth standard," he recollects, "My brother and sister had
already made it clear that they are not going to study. My mother was very
upset. She had pinned her hopes on me and I had let her down."

His mother cried that entire night and prayed to god. "I always thought my
mother was strong. I had seen her smile through the toughest of situations,"
he remembers, "When I saw her cry like that, I realised I had disappointed
her. I was ashamed of myself."

That's when he decided to change the tide. "I studied very hard the next
year and came third," he smiles. Since then there was no looking back.

He studied diligently even through their tough times. "Trouble began when I
reached higher classes and my expenses started mounting. When I passed my
tenth my mother's employees decided to sponsor my education. That's how I
completed my education," he recollects.

While pursuing his own studies, Vikas realised he could supplement the
family income by taking tuitions. "I started taking tuitions. I saved up and
did a course in networking," he recollects, "Today I have my own little
business where I look after networks of small companies. I have even hired
two people."

His mother stopped working when Vikas' tuitions were enough to cover family
expenses. Today with her only daughter married and her two sons taking care
of her needs, Vikas says she has little to complain of.

Ask him how he did it? "After my first failure, I never had time to think or
cry over my situation," he recollects, "I knew I had to get my mother out of
other's homes. There was nothing else on my mind."

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