Failure and I are twins. We have coexisted happily for years now. It wasn’t fun in the beginning. The problem was that I never liked to fail. So in those early years I did what one of the idioms in my mother tongue, Malayalam, describes as ‘roll where you fall’ meaning make your fall appear as not a fall but a roll that you chose. However, eventually that becomes quite boring. Moreover, the onlookers will understand your trick sooner than later.
One of the fundamental and irrevocable truths of life is that people love losers. Losers make people feel comfortable with themselves. Another such truth is that it is easy to fail than succeed. Ask the bulb man Edison who reportedly counted 10,000 failures on the way to illuminating the world with his bulb. That was a neat number: 10,000. Lucky man Edison was to get such a neat number of failures unless he was being metaphorical.
I find James Dyson a greater consolation. He gives us a more convincingly accurate figure of his failures on his way to the invention of the vacuum cleaner: 5126. Dyson knew that failure was more natural than success. Otherwise he wouldn’t have kept count of his failures. But I guess he knew he wasn’t beating on a wall hoping that a door would materialise sooner or later.
I was also trying to create a door for myself. Every time my door was about to take the final shape some mysterious force would come and decimate it. The force didn’t come from some other world. There was nothing supernatural about it. I had a benefactor who convinced himself that whatever doors I created were not good for me. Very, very few people, as far as I have understood, are as privileged as I am to have such a benefactor. The benefactor is my twin.
Now I have got used to failures so much that any success would shatter me. In fact, I feel a tremendous lot of gratitude to my benefactor for making me such a failure. It is easy to fail. It takes no effort. Life is much smoother now.
This is written for Indispire Edition 182 which asked the question what I would do when failures break me. It is the question which made me realise how happy I was with failures.