Growing up, on every get-together my uncles and aunts would compare how happy their kids were by comparing how successful they were in all the spheres of life – including professional, academic and personal – I was destined with the same fate. The measurement of success for my parents was always based on good grades, being married, having a job at a prestigious organization
Failure was not an option but an excuse for them. Amidst this chaos influenced by the culture-driven definition of success, subscribed by my parents, I was glad that I was able to grow up under my grandma’s supervision who told me that failure is as important as success. She influenced me to see that failure should not be an excuse for taking a step back but a step forward to try even harder next time to achieve the goal.
I still remember my grandma advising me, “Failure is the mother of success and one should value failure just like success. One shouldn’t be caged in our community’s standard and society’s stigma towards failure, and doubts.”
Almost 10 years later today, she is not here but her words are. Her memory flashed brightly in front of me when I saw a recent Surf Excel’s TVC on ‘Haar Ko Harao’ (Loosely translates into Lose to Win) which not only questions the misguided definition of success and failure our nation subscribes to. It simply yet creatively illustrates that failure should not be taken as an obstacle but as an instruction to move forward with sheer motivation and dedication.
The TVC directly speaks to the youth that will someday lead our country. Failure, like success, is equally essential in becoming the better of ourselves. Running away from failure will not help but also change the attitude towards it and will pave the way for our youth to be playful with the untapped potential and hidden talent.
It pushes for a bottom-up behavioral change where parents, teachers, mentors, and seniors do not look down on a child for failing but uplift him to strive for greatness. Having a 13-year old sister, I now try to normalize failure for her by talking about it and by explaining that there is no shame in taking a leap and failing – she must keep trying, no matter what!