Several years later, after weathering several storms in
life, I cannot agree more – failure teaches valuable
life lessons that success can never access. I completely
subscribe to the dictum, ‘Failure is a stepping stone to
A tender, young, highly ambitious 11 year old Lionel Messi
received the shattering news that he had a growth hormone
deficiency. His fragile hope rested in treatment that would
cost much more than his poor father could afford.
For two years Messi relentlessly continued to play
football despite the disease and despite being
rejected as the shortest and weakest and dumped
from his team, till the sporting director of FC
Barcelona noticed his talent and decided to
sponsor his medical treatment. Failure brought
out the fighting spirit in him.
Much before he became a household name Steven
Spielberg spent many months roaming the Hollywood streets
convincing producers that he could direct films. Through
every rejection, his resolve just got stronger. He put up a
sign outside his shed calling himself a director when he
had not yet directed a single film.
There are countless stories of sweet success emerging from
the bedrock of failure. It’s almost like a predictable pattern
– people at the top of their fields made it through daunting
times of loss and failure and came up victorious. We should
all learn to fail graciously, and take the treasures of wisdom
from such failures. We should look forward eagerly to our
next trouble. Without tough times our education is
No human being is invincible. The greatest sportsmen go
through lean patches but their greatness lies in bouncing
back each time they fall. There is never a guarantee of an
easy life forever. There are valleys beside every mountain
and stormy weather after perfect days. If we have not learned
to tackle the storm, we can never hope to sail forward.
If I make a list right now of all the problems and challenges
I am juggling with, I can gasp and feel overwhelmed, or I
can look intently and notice the lurking opportunity behind
every problem. My body language can change and I can
thank God for these diamonds of opportunities. I have now
realised that there is such a slim difference between losing
and winning. Those who fail are sometimes very close to
winning, but the situation needs just a little tweaking here and there. It is a tragedy when people traverse all the way
and give up when they are just a few steps way from victory.
Why not make your own list? Treat it like an intriguing
puzzle to trace the possibilities behind each predicament.
Embrace the failures in your life, especially the learning
potential of every loss. I bet one day you will look back
with gratitude and say to yourself, “Today is so beautiful
because yesterday was so tough and terrible”
[The writer is a Leadership Trainer and Coach based in
Hyderabad, India. He can be reached at
A mother has a natural bond with a child but a father has to build one.