Friends with Failure

As a teen, Trouble is a Friend by Lenka was one of my favorite songs. Over the years I forgot all about it but I rediscovered the song in March this year when it was playing at an ice cream store I was at. While I still love the song, I believe it would now resonate better had she replaced trouble with failure. I have written a fair bit about the need to celebrate and embrace failure. I even pointed you to one of my all-time favorite TED talk that talks about 100 days of rejection. However, it wasn’t until I was stuck in lockdown (yes, another lockdown story) that I actively started chasing failure. For the last many years of my life, it was usually me running and failure chasing me. Last month I decided, I’d play a chasing game of my own.

For starters, I wrote fan letters to Rohinton Mistry and never heard back. I do not know if it ever reached him. I wrote to Seth Godin and received a response within 12 hours. I always wanted to write for Fast Company but thought I needed to wait till I was better. Not anymore. I wrote to Fast Company and INC both. No response from either. I have another list of emails that need to be sent out. Do these make me poorer in any way? Apart from a slight hit to the ego, absolutely not. Will my life change for the better if any of the chances play out, absolutely. So why not?

I am well aware that a lot of failures do leave you poorer and I have taken some of those too. However, dancing with failure in the above ways helps build my resiliency and pushes my risk taking capabilities a little further. They prepare me for when failure does decide to take a turn and really knock things out of the park. Failure & I have never shared a great relationship in the past. Failure has made me shed many a tears and torn down a fair few hopes. Now this is me stepping up, willing to shake hands and promising to attempt to make the relationship work; for I’d be a fool to imagine that there will be a time when we will never cross paths.

What are you doing to actively make friend with failure?


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