Failure MUST be an Option

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Failure MUST be an Option

“Failure is not an option!” You hear that rallying call very many times. When your department has to meet some targets for the quarter so you can remain employed, failure might not be an option. What are we saying here?

  • Partly, we are saying that the status quo must be maintained.
  • Partly, we are saying that this is the only option.
  • Partly, we are also saying that this is the last opportunity we can get at making a difference.

If we talk about the present culture we are living in, our personal economies have been revolutionized to the core. This generation of ours is the one that is living with numerous options at a personal level in terms of career development.  Unfortunately scores of people have this embedded philosophy that says that there is only one option!

One option vs Limitless Options

It is true that there has always been one option over the centuries. First it was hunting, then it was farming and then in my dad’s age, it was jobs. In my age however, jobs are not the only option. “That’s so easy to say for one who is employed”, you might say. Well, maybe. The truth however is that if my contract ended tomorrow, I have multiple options to continue dispensing my Life Signatures on earth…and I will need failure as a friend.
“Then why don’t you just resign and live the talk?” Good question. I have an option now, and when the time comes, I will not be option-less. That’s the whole point.

Increasingly, you will realize that the philosophies that governed our behavior in terms of our careers must be revisited. It is more difficult these days and it will be very different in the coming years in the lives of job seekers.

We have been trained to shun failure like a plague. At the same time, we have not been taught to celebrate difference. For the most part, we are taught to fit in a preordained way of living, at least in terms of careers.

The choice that is the most plausible for us is to become Self Executive Officers. A Self Executive Officer takes back the responsibility of her dreams into her own hands. She no longer has to wait to be appointed. She rises up and plunges into uncharted territory, against the current philosophies.

Inevitably, she must fail and fail and fail before she can succeed. Your feeling and definition of failure is important. If you come from the school of thought that failure is bad and that failure is personal, then you will hate it. Unfortunately for you, you are not God, you are only human. So guess what? You will fail at some point in time.

Which Way Will You go?

There are two ways out:

  • Avoid failure at all costs. This means that you conform, stay within your comfort zones and maintain only that which you know has worked for somebody else. There is a trade off here. How long will you be able to sustain the status quo in this ever changing world?
  • Embrace failure: This does not mean that you are going out to look for failure. It just means that you are going out more than you are staying in. When you do, you will fail. When you do, you will adjust and then go out again. When you fail, it might not as bad a fall as the previous. You learned something the last time. This is what growth is about.

The call to embrace failure is double edged. You can select which side cuts best for you. There is the side of mediocrity where we fail because we did not give out all. There is the side of learning where we fail despite giving our very best attempt.

If failure is not an option, then in our day and age, we are also saying that success is not an option either. There are very few incidences where failure is not an option, but largely, in our daily lives, failure must be an option as long as we are willing to keep moving on.

When is the last time you failed at something? Share with us the experience.