As surprising it may seem, the fact is that all of us, each one of us are designed to fail and fail as spectacularly and proportionally as our success is and this is one thing that doesn’t change, whether you like it or not, it is only the ability to change and translate that failure into something meaningful is what can ensure that you retain your sanity and keep moving ahead! Join me here as we try to decipher the why and what that makes us designed to fail and how all of that plays out and if there’s anything that can we do, to make all of those unfolding events to play out to our advantage!
When we see the world around us, what you see is that every product, every service and every aspect that touches our lives comes in with an intrinsic notification of failure! In case of some products (and what you can perhaps easily relate to) will the Expiry Date on the product- it does not mean that the product dies- rather what it implies is the fact that beyond that date- the product will not be able to function as it should and deliver the promise what it holds- that is – it has commenced to fail to it’s own standards of efficacy and value! If you thought this is limited to only food products, medicines or things that we consume, think again! Heard about accidents owing to mechanical fatigue/ mechanical failures, engine failures so on and so forth, accidental fires because of fail-safe mechanisms failing! Well, the whole universe around us is sprinkled with cases of accidents, disasters and what not, each of them having the same underlying reason- the instance when the accident or the disaster unfolds it the moment when the design fails or rather the failure of design begins to manifest!
You see every object that has been ever created has been forged by crafting multiple elements to make them what they are so that they can work and provide the service that they are supposed to- in fact almost every machine that we use, whether its the laptop on which you are reading this, your car, that plane you fly or the humble pen that you use to write your memoirs, each of them come with a service manual- some have written elaborate technical literature- which can be out rightly spooky requiring a qualified and technically competent person to decipher the language and apply method to that madness and yet at other times a generous use of common sense can help resolve and arrest developing failures! Consider this, you have that Cessna Aircraft as part of your private aircraft fleet and it comes with an elaborate maintenance manual and even if you would not be perhaps more knowledgeable about the aircraft of the need and urgency of a timely maintenance of the equipment, each time you reach out to a pilot to fly you out of that place and get you back, the first question and the first document that the pilot will be requesting you is going to be it’s maintenance records! Not because the pilot is an aeronautical engineer, but simply because, glancing through the records the pilot knows which parameter needs to be watched over which other- which is perhaps more likely to fail than the other and that’s what helps to take split second decisions, if the shit indeed hits the roof! There are innumerable such examples strewn all around us all the time and when those fabled accidents do strike, more often than not it has an element of one component that did not work the way it is designed to- be it the Human or the Machine! So now the big question- Why do things and people fail? What is failure?
Everything and Everyone by the virtue of their construct is designed to fail; just as all of us who are born, eventually end up being dead one fine day! Some fail early, some delay that, and it all boils down to a singular facet of how well does one manage and work over their failures to move from one to the next- this inversion of failure is often also referred as success in the world and how frequently and how well one is able to carry out this inversion is what sets apart a few from the others! Now if this is what failure is really all about, why do people fail? You see, failing and bouncing back is a very natural process (although it doesn’t seem so, because we have ended up planting negative social dogmas and references around it) and the reasons why things or people fail are broadly one of the two- There could be Intrinsic reasons- that is things and people fail because who they are and how they are or Extrinsic reasons- the context in which people and things are put into or operated within which ensures that they fail each time as they try to perform! This is something akin to stepping on the accelerator pedal with the hand brakes on! You may say now, so can we do something around this or are we just fated to fail?
We may be fated to fail owing to one of the attributes and depending on which one is more or less of the two adjustments on those fronts can ensure that you are able to incrementally nudge the contexts in your favour and that simple effort is more often than not enough to ensure that you move ahead and din’t remain stuck or get dragged back! Once individuals are able to determine what is contributing to their failure and what type of failure they are experiencing, it’s just a matter of time that adjustments can be done and executed to change the tide and turn failures inside out into success! So how do we go about this and if this is so simple, then why isn’t everyone successful using this technique?
Well, the trick to turn failure into success relies on two fundamental things; firstly the ability to know yourself- what is that you are or the thing that you are dealing with is and second is consistency. It is only when purpose and consistency meet that magic happens, because purpose keeps people and things moving ahead in the direction to achieve a set goal or reach a set destination and every time there is an obstacle or a hurdle in that process (read failure), the consistent approach to decipher the causes, correct them and keep moving on is the only way and perhaps the simplest approaches to take! Why is not everyone able to do this then, well, patience is perhaps the most rare of all virtues that we come across and without the sprinkling of patience around, consistency does not stand a chance!
Before I leave you on this piece, a few final words- Believe it or not the compelling fact of life is that we are all designed to fail and everything that humanity has every forged will also fail at a point in time- the only question is whether that will be an intrinsic failure or an extrinsic one and that goes on to determine the timing of that failure! This is the crux and this is what paradoxically empowers an individual to take a path to fail fast, forward and walk ahead or plan and delay that failure, either ways aligning themselves for an early or late success story!
I wanted to keep this piece intentionally a short and breezy one, so that you can have more time at hand, thinking and contemplating about the failures that you have experienced and how that unfolded then and were you able to turn that failure inside out to be a success story or was it something altogether different that walked into your life from that moment on and was that “success”?
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then Stay Safe and Stay Wise!