On Success and Failure
My grandfather, (Grandmothers brother) was one of my favourite people . He was refined, elegant , well read and the perfect gentleman. He would visit us once a year, always armed with gifts and chocolates of variety. A particular favourite of mine was a Givenchy perfume with a heavenly scent that is to date my favourite . But despite his friendliness and gifts, I never really knew how to converse with him. For he was quite old and I rather young and awkward at the time .
Until one day when I got my results back for my 9th grade exams and didn't do as well as I had hoped. Getting a B+ was like getting a badge of shame, to me atleast. It felt like my life was over. I suppose its just one of those things that comes with being 14. The pain of failure runs too deep and the euphoria of success doesn’t linger long enough . That day, my grandfather (Dada) took one look at my glum face , laughed and said :
” There will be many more tests in life, and you’re telling me you’re giving up on your first one?”
His words lingered in my mind long after he was gone , much the same way that Givenchy scent lingered in my clothing long after being washed. I realized later that he wasn’t quite talking about exams, but life in general. I also realized that that short conversation had forever altered my definition of failure and success. If I could turn back time, I would tell my 14 year old self that failure isn't fatal. ( Although it certainly did feel that way at the time.)
To me now, failing is nothing more than a lesson learnt. And success ….nothing less than trying one more time. I worked harder next year and got straight A's in 10th grade and I owe that tiny success to him.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been effected by someone's words so deeply that your entire perspective about life changed overnight or overtime?