In the last six months, I’ve applied to jobs everywhere remotely related to engineering, and then some others. Some never got back to me, some replied, and others invited me for tests. As expected, many of my former classmates are experiencing the same thing, and have written some of the same tests.

Every week, one of us rants (on our Whatsapp group, because that is what you do post-degree) about how the tests are rigged in favour of some people or how he/she wasted time travelling down for the tests. It’s how they cope with failure.

It’s commonplace to hear people say ‘it’s not my portion’ or ‘I’m not a failure’ or some other psychological chant, but many times we shy away from planning for failure. It’s not counter-productive to think about what happens if you fail at something. On the other hand, it should not aid bad performance if you consider the alternative to success in a particular endeavour.

At some point in life, you have to get used to failure and channel the resulting emotion to something positive. Something enduring.

J.K. Rowling puts it beautifully here:

Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it.

Failure only hurts when we (or other people) have expectations. You can not really fail if you never expected to get something, it may still hurt however. And some failure is good, it’s good to remember that you’re not invincible, that the universe does not exist only to give you what you want at the first time of asking.

It’s about taking stock, about (re)assessing yourself. It’s easy to forget your goals and keep living to society’s expectations if you don’t fail. Just don’t make it a habit.

6 thoughts on “Failure

  1. It must be tough dealing with rejection or failure after job tests or interviews especially if it has happened often. I sometimes feel like you that learning to cope with failure, rejection, and disappointments, is a must-have skill. But what better way to learn or put theories to test than by going through these experiences? Right?

    I’ve been encouraged by biographies of successful people. Invariably failure was a part of their story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One day at a time. Failure forces one to test self-imposed boundaries and “Just do it”

    I’m a little torn between the Shield of Aloofness (“You can not really fail if you never expected to get something”) and the Power of Faith. Perhaps one must learn the fine art of balancing both.

    I agree with Timi, successful people have failure in their stories. Jason Njoku put it very aptly: “Failing all the way to success”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There’s a quote from a movie, The Mechanic starring Jason Statham and Donald Sutherland, you’ve probably seen it: ‘Amat Victoria Curam’ – Victory loves preparation.

      I’m beginning to think failure is part of your preparation for ‘victory’, the Power of Faith mantra.

      Liked by 2 people

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