Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

Posts Tagged ‘failure

You have to run your own race

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I got an automated mail this morning from Robin Sharma, which talked about ‘the best advise (I) had ever got’. One of them was that you have to run your own race.

My thoughts…

Due to cultural conditioning, we are hardwired to look outside for validation. Our definitions of success and failure are what society wants it to be. And it is pretty hard not to compare yourself with others. External comparison is convenient. It is easier to have benchmarks which are not within our control than those which may be within us. And reason for this is that introspection is tough. It is tough to take a call about what exactly is your personal definition of success; which race are you running; whom are you running against?

And worst part is that it is possible that you are good at something that society considers to be good. But it may not necessarily be good for you. It may not be in synch with your values, beliefs and general purpose of existence. What then happens is that you blindly follow this path of hollow success and end up realizing that though you did climb the ladder successfully, it was the wrong wall (!)

Another danger of social definition of success is that if you measure your success relative to how everyone else is doing you will probably end up far below your potential.

So you need to remember that…

Your life is your own. You have to choose your own race. You have to choose your opponents. Even if it means that you are your only opponent. Atleast you would be running the race on your own terms. It is better to fail at one’s own race than win at someone else’s.

Some questions to help you ponder over this thought –

  • With whom are you competing against?
  • Where has this race taken you?
  • Are you happy with where you have reached?
  • Was the answer to above question dependent on what others think of you?
  • Are you running the best race for you?
  • Or are you running someone else’s race better than they are?

And your life should not end with saying – I have finished first at their race.

It should rather end with – I have finished my race. (Position is redundant).


Written by Dev

April 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

R&D on R&D (Relationships & Disappointments) – A guest post

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Here I am writing a post for Dev. It is an honour I must say, writing the 100th post. Thanks Dev. I am clueless as to what I’m going to write and I’m sure most of you following the blog would find it monotonous and wonder where he is? But please bear with me, because if I don’t write this, I might disappoint my dearest childhood buddy.

Talking of relationships and disappointments attached to them, most of us feel sad and demented when one of the closest person to us leaves us or drifts away. There is nothing wrong with it and rather, it is quite an obvious feeling. But it’s my feeling that every relationship teaches us something. Something good. No matter how badly it ended. Everyone comes in our life for a reason. They are there with us when we need them the most in our life.

Maybe to share our feelings because we were lonely, to cheer us up or boost up our spirits when we did not believe in ourselves and to lend us a shoulder when we were down and needed a friend. But the mistake we make is that, we want to hold them for life. This is the point when things start to deteriorate. This is indeed the point, when relationships move from ‘not-expecting-anything-in-return’ state to the ones where both sides of the relationships sound like, ‘I-expect-something-from-you’.

People come and go but what remains are the memories that will last with us forever. It’s my personal belief that there is no point in regretting anything in life. It’s always good to listen to everyone, but when the time comes to take the decision, its best to take your own decisions and if something goes wrong then we shall have only ourselves to blame, instead of those who were ‘supposedly’ expected to be influential in our decision making. 

Shifting the focus to the darker and troubled side of relationships – read broken ones, we should look back and smile. Yes. We should smile. It’s because that was the best time, we could have spent with that person at that point in our life. With every bad relationship that ended on a sour note, we should be observant enough to recognise the hidden lesson for the future. And once we are able to understand that, we can be sure that we are not all that vulnerable as we used to be. We can judge people by their behaviour and decide whom to associate with and whom to stay away from. And one of the biggest realisations, that comes out from evolving with the relationships is that, we realise that we should not care for what people say about us. It’s because I believe in living life for myself and for people close to me and not for the society that “supposedly” I should be serving.

Experiences when passed through prisms of life manifest themselves in various human emotions, which are essential to make our personal rainbows colourful and I feel that I am blessed, that God has provided me diverse situations, which have enriched my life. Now I have the power as well as wisdom to appreciate life with all its pitfalls.

Neha K.

Successful Failure!!

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Today I was watching this show titled “M3-Man, Moment & Machine” on The History Channel. It was about the Apollo 13 Lunar Mission, which met with an accident in 1970 just days after it was launched.

Apollo 13 was launched on April 11, 1970 at 13:13 CST (You can see the number of unlucky 13s… 😉 ).

Apollo 13 Insignia It was shown, that just about 2 days after the launch, the entire mothership was rendered useless (almost) by an explosion in an oxygen tank. The explosion resulted in a loss of oxygen and electrical power that was so important for the crew. But the crew, very bravely fought back with the circumstances and used the Lunar Module (to be used to land and get back from moon only) as a “lifeboat” in space. The Command Module remained fully functional on its internal batteries, but they were needed for re-entry and landing so it was shut down shortly after the accident. Despite great hardships caused by severe shortage of power, cabin heat (it had become ice cold inside the module), and water (for drinking & as a coolant for various devices), the crew successfully returned to Earth. The mission was thus called a “Successful Failure”.

For a detailed account of the entire Apollo 13 story, Click here

It was really awesome to see a happy end to such a human endeavor. What I really liked about the show was that it brilliantly portrayed the difficulties these guys had to face in space which could have easily led to their end, and the way they kept on trying, along with those NASA scientists on the ground, to save their own lives. It was also shown that one of the crew members had to learn how to operate an instrument that was not to be used normally. It was said that, in normal routine procedure, this instrument took months to master. But here, he had to do it in the first time. Really, we learn faster when in trouble.

It is said that out of desperation, courage is born. Seems really right here. They were really desperate to save their lives. But then, who isn’t?

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