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.