Pull Down, or Push Up?

The other day at school I had a math test. I had studied the weekend before test, and was, well, decently confident about my preparation. On reaching my classroom, whilst I was in the process of recollecting a formula unknown to me just a few days ago, a friend of mine, a rather nervous and jittery friend of mine walked up to me. She said to me, ‘Rhea! I’m going to fail this test. I cannot remember anything.’ However, I could see from her face that she had studied way too hard for the test. Her droopy, sleep-craving eyes said it all. She always stood second in the class, and on my interrogation, it turned out my suspicions were in veracious indeed. She said calmly that she had been studying for the past week, but it was not long before her quacking hands rose to her mouth again, covering it. She mumbled under her breath, ‘I hope I pass. I really want to go to an ivy league. What if I don’t pass, I’ll never get in.’

Just to be clear and completely transparent here, the girl did not lack the brains. In all probability, she had studied more than me and my friends combined.

The loud bell that left us trembling from its echoes, followed this little conversation of ours, or rather a monologue for the most part of hers. We wrote the test, and I was decently satisfied with mine. It was quite easy, and on finishing I thought only about how easy it must have been for that girl.

Turns out, even with her best endeavours herein, she got the last four mark question, the test being out of ten, wrong. How! She was the last person I would expect to get a six on a test so important.

So, why did she fail? Well, it is certainly not a question whose answer is unknown, lost in the depths of some bottomless void. No. She failed, merely because she told herself she would. On the other hand, a rather average friend of mine got a ten out of ten, why? Simply because he lived I the moment. Before the test I heard him say to his friends, ‘I’ve studied a bit, haven’t done all the questions in the book, but I’ll be fine.’

That friend of mine by this point was absolutely devastated. As cruel as it may sound, I do to some extent believe that that failure, was well deserved, for she did bring it upon herself. Someone who had studied so hard, they could not plausibly fail due to lack of knowledge.

In my opinion, there are two kinds of failures. You may fail because you are not good at something, which you can work on, and then there is this failure, that we burden ourselves with. The failure that she experienced was simply because of her own attitude. It was self-made. I see no reason for us to think of ourselves as failures before even attempting something. You cannot fail the test before even attempting it, you cannot lose the race before running it. So why think of a thing so vile as failure, before the teacher says ‘You may start,’ or before the starting gun is fired?

We have been so embittered by this rather superfluous and disgraceful quality that we almost consider it to be ‘normal’ now. Why is that? The minute we realise that in the second type of failure, we drag ourselves down, but we have the full power in our hands to turn that result upside down, perhaps we will start questioning our actions. I fail to understand why people do not see the fact that if our mind has the power to pull us down so far, it most certainly has the power to push us up, to greater heights than our limited imaginations can fathom. It is just up to us, how we choose to use this energy, to push up, or to pull down. It is up to us, whether we want to use the most powerful weapon, the most essential tool there is, our mind, to bring ourselves down, by thinking of losing before even running the race, or to push ourselves up, by motivating ourselves with thoughts of positivity and hope, no matter how small they may be. Hope is hope.

Let us try and fail, instead of trying to fail.

You Fall. You Rise.

If you are a person that considers themselves to be successful, if you believe with all surety that you are not failing at something, anything, this article, is not for you.

What I am about to tell you right now is an utter contradiction to what the title of my article is. The fact that you have continued to read on tells me that you have failed at some point in your life. You might have failed at starting a business, getting into your desired college, you might have even failed at keeping a diet. However, before you can jump to any erroneous assumptions, I am not writing this article to mollycoddle you, and tell you that it’s a pity that you failed but “Oh! You will be fine.” No.

The first thing that we all need to understand, is that if we want to be successful, there is no scope for self-pity. There is no point in telling yourself things like “It wasn’t your fault,” “You worked hard, you deserved better,” or “Life is so unfair.” If you failed, for 90% of you, you did not work hard enough. Have you ever compared the lifestyle of a successful person to yours? Well maybe you should, and work on what you’re not doing right. Just to be clear, though, I do not mean you need to become that person. I have noticed just about as many times as I have seen the quote, “Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners.”

Failure does not define you. It is merely a phase, and believe it or not the power to change that state rests with you at all times. The minute you chose success over failure in your head, winning over losing, working over procrastination, you become an element of change. It is up to you, and only you, to decide whether you are going to let failure consume you, the way it does to the 90% of people do not just fail, but choose to fail or whether you are going to get up and use failure to motivate you.

So you think failure is already above you? Well, failure, this conception of failure you have created in your head that is eating through it like cancer, poison, is pulling you down, and you cannot pull someone down if you are already above them. If the thought of failure being superior to you still persists, remember that if failure really is above you, you can use it as a stepping stone. Now, if you have noticed, and I am not telling you to use your opponents, enemies as your stepping stones, for your only true enemy is failure.

We must not just sit behind the same desks everyday living the same mundane lives acting like we have nowhere to go, cursing ourselves, wishing we were the people whose companies we work for. Well guess what, Rome was not built in a day, neither was Google, Apple, Facebook or any other company or person that we hold up as successful today.

Being successful does not simply mean achieving your goals, it means not giving up even when you think you will not achieve them. The minute you pass through the phase of “I won’t make it,” you will. The minute you realize that failure is nothing more than the biggest and hardest, yet most important test you will ever take, and you fixate your mind on topping it, success will follow you.

Another thing I would like to point out, is that we must not be blinded by what will come after, or more realistically in such a situation, if, we become successful. Many a times I have come across people who say things like “I’m going to buy a company and become really rich, and then buy ten cars and this expensive watch…” Well if I am being honest I do not think Mark Zuckerberg thought about owning a huge house with the money he would earn while he was creating Facebook.

You are probably wondering why you should listen to anything I say. After all, I am just a fourteen year old girl, what have I ever achieved to be able to say this to you? Well, call me what you want, a hypocrite, inexperienced, but the truth is, that just like all of you, I too, have a dream. We’re all dreamers, it is an innate quality of ours.