One should be wary of flying high. Not that it’s all bad, but flying is a risky business. You must be insured first to take the flight. Lack of insurance not only dents you but may prove fatal if you are too high up there. While it is okay to jump once in a while for fun, it is equally essential to come back. You smash down to the ground hard when you fall back. And that hurts, you know.
I write this because something familiar happened to me. Buoyed by last semester’s academic “success”, I flew to the enigmatic horizons, heavens, on the gust of wind which was my “ego”. I came crashing down and was hit hard by reality when I failed in one of my subjects this semester. The world turned upside down.
I had been warned before, several times, of my high flight and nonchalance on the “insurance” part. But when the heavenly music wafts through your ears up there, you tend to ignore everything else. That’s common. It is blissful and who on earth wants to be interrupted in his bliss?
And then it struck. I failed. I had failed. I was now a labelled failure, at least for the time being. But I did not accept it. How could it be? I’ve managed to score at least 40 marks out of 100 even in dire times. I have managed to do that. I had secured 3 marks out of 20 during midterm and still managed a passing 40 out of 100 in the finals.
I realised, what crap I was into. I was talking about getting passing marks now. I was once a topper in my school. Getting mediocre marks was the definition of failure for me, let alone getting passing marks. And here I was, thinking about getting “passing marks”. How lowly I had began to rate myself.
When did I let myself drown in this abyss? Perhaps it was the company. Yes, it plays a huge role. I realised it later. I had started studying for the exams, just a couple of days before it. They did not seem to be of great importance for me. Because, as I feel now, everyone else around me took it lightly. Or at least ostensibly. I had let myself be fooled. Age old trick, and yet another victim. “I don’t know how I scored! I hadn’t studied a bit!”. My ass.
There was not one exam for which I had prepared myself fully. I was content with doing it “more than my company”. How foolish was that of me? “You must never compare yourself to any other. You are not mocking him in doing that. You are deriding yourself”. And now as I see the results page, he passed and I failed. Everyone passed and I failed. From a good 73% to heinously low 56%. Failure.
What this episode did teach me was, how to handle failure. Although I am yet to fully come to terms with it, I think I am taking it well, really well rather. When you fail, accept it and move on. Failure to accept failure is a sign of stubbornness, arrogance. No one has succeeded with arrogant attitude. If anything, it has always been a reason for one’s eventual downfall.
Now, I do not wish to go into details of how people succeed after failing and everything that accompanies it. In my view, one succeeds if one has the courage to stand up and tread his path again despite how many stumbling blocks dot the way. If you fall down, you need to get up and continue the journey. Or crawl. But do not stagnate. Stagnation is certain death. If you start crying over one stumble, you are good for nothing, dear friend.
The road to success is always under construction. The contract is with the Indian government. You could keep waiting for it to be finished into a smooth road, or continue along under-construction highway. If you choose the former; chances are pretty high that it will still be under construction when you are playing the second innings of your life. Even if it is done, you won’t be in a condition to walk that long arduous path. If you choose the latter though, you will surely stumble and fall, but it will lead you to success, eventually.
I have fallen, it hurts badly. It will take me a little time. But I am sure I will get up, and continue this journey which is my life. For all I know, if I stay here, sulking, I will be run over. Such is life dear friends, such is this life.