The Pillars Of Success
The Pillars Of Success4 mins 239 4 mins 239
"FAILURES ARE THE PILLARS OF SUCCESS."
The proverb means that success comes through failures. It is meant as an encouragement to those who fail in life. We have got to try again and again in the face of failures. If we fail once and try again, we will gain experience that will help us in our second effort. By making use of these experiences we will grow wiser and feel surer. This is the foundation of wisdom and self-confidence, our success will be durable.
But if anyone takes the proverb too literally, and concludes that we have only to fail in order to succeed, that the more we fail the surer will be our success, he is utterly mistaken. The proverb means no such thing. By themselves, failures are nothing but failures and can have only a damaging effect on life. Every effort should be made not to fail, but no failure should have a depressing effect on us. Rather they should be incentives.
In order to make our failures the pillars of success, it is best to be warmed of the causes of failures. The fool often fails because he thinks that success is easy. “Security is mortal’s chiefest enemy.” We must have confidence, but not conceit. For confidence gives strength; conceit makes us easy-going. The too wise man may also fail if he thinks what is easy is difficult. For then he uses more strength than he should. He over-reaches himself and fails. Many of us fail because we are too nervous. We apprehend failure even before we have entered the fray. We fall out of favor with ourselves and lose energy and spirit. “There is no defeat, in truth, save from within; unless you are beaten there, you are bound to win” (Austin).
It is only when failures bring out the best in us that they come to have an importance in life. Failures must be a challenge to us to do our best, to try our utmost. We must meet failures in order to overcome them and succeed. In this view, failures are accidents,-unpleasant as all accidents are, but they point the way to success. It is not an easy way perhaps, but it is a sure way to success if we take up the challenge of failures and try to overcome them.
In order to do this, we need have to show certain mental qualities. First, we must be preserving. We must try again and again. We must ‘rise on the stepping-stones of our dead selves to something greater than we were. Secondly, we must have courage. We must have the will to victory. There must not be any thought of surrender. We must learn not to know when we are defeated. Once we admit defeat, we are no longer what we were but something far less. Thirdly, we must be optimists. We must have confidence that, in spite of failures, we will succeed,-if not today, tomorrow, or the day after; if not in this generation, in the next that is coming. We must live not for ourselves but for an end, for an ideal, for a cause. Defeat belongs to a person; a cause can never die.
There is heroism even in failure,-if it comes after a sincere struggle. It is good to see a man fail in the hour of victory, or even fail in spite of all efforts. We may vary the words of Tennyson and say,-
“It is better to have fought and lost,
Than never to have fought at all.”
We must be able to look back on our failures with pride-feeling that we have failed greatly. We must also be able to look forward with hope-believing that we shall succeed in spite of failures. That is the proper attitude to failures one should take up.
Failures of course can be depressing and disheartening. When honest efforts end in failure, it is difficult to keep up one’s spirit. “There is no fiercer hell,” said Keats, “than the failure in a great object.” It is then “a salted wound that burns and burns again.” The remedy against this is a strong spirit, an indomitable will, an unconquerable soul. Above all, one must meet the challenge of life with close-lipped heroism that knows not despair; and one must be able to say with Lady Macbeth: “But screw your courage to the sticking place and we will not fail.”