I Have Failed, Now What?
It’s been a while since I shared life stories, but this one is something I have to share reading it off from Linked In, This was written by Magesh Gangadharan on his life experience on failure and I find that his take away is something everyone should learn.
Yes the portrayal of India in movies is not really true especially the action genre, but one movie “3 Idiots” is one movie I totally recommend to everyone as it is as close as I would want everyone to believe life should be such. Well I am not going to do a movie review but this is a to share a real life experience which is similar to the 3 Idiots movie.
Growing up from a small town in South India I am so used to failures to a level where you can say “Failure is a Norm” for me. Growing up in a country of over 1 billion people you are always told to be academically strong, be good in studies. Coming to studies I wasn’t exceptional, I loved to play outside and naturally be curious.
When I finished my high school I scored 70% whereas one needs to get more than 98% to get admission into good professional colleges for engineering and medicine. I enrolled for a Math undergraduate degree in my town and again just barely passed the degree. You need to understand the pressure / stress I was in as people thought I was a big failure as I did not become an engineer or doctor as per to the aspirations of Indian parents.
During all of my perceived* failures by people surrounding me I figured out that in order for me to be successful I can’t follow the same approach all others are taking because there are lot many talented people than me out there.
Once you finish your bachelor’s degree you can apply for a three years master’s degree in computers which was in high demand. The entrance exam for the masters happens in your third year of undergraduate course and what I figured out was that most of the students were so busy preparing for their undergraduate exams they had little time in preparing for the entrance to the master’s.
As soon as I enrolled in my undergraduate course I laid out a strategy and action plan. I reached out to the different universities and asked them for their previous years entrance examination papers which they will send out to you for a fee. Once I received all the question papers from different universities I carefully analyzed them in detail and found that most of the universities relied on a sub set of few books to pick their questions.
My strategy got refined so if I studied these books which were not in any of the courses taught in the undergraduate courses it bettered my chances of getting into the university.
I worked on my strategy focused on entrance and paid less attention to undergraduate course and this worked. I am omitting much of the drama surrounding this. I got admitted to my master’s degree in computer science in a well reputed university.
I have repeated the strategy so many times in different situations and have worked well for me so the formula goes as simple like this.
- Embrace failure
- Once you fail – take a moment to think and figure out why you failed. Think out of the box.
- Come up with a strategy.
- Look out to see for success stories on how somebody like you has succeeded in the past. Figure out how they did it?
- See if the same plan would work for you? See how can you tailor the plan to work for you?
- Every time you fail you would learn something in the process. Try to connect all the dots to see the big picture.
- In the process of trying where you want to go, new opportunities will open up and which might work for you very well than what you originally intended for.
- Be open to new opportunities. Give it a try. Nothing bad can happen. It’s all an experience.
Do you have any similar experiences? Thoughts? If this have inspired you do comment or even liked the post.