Featured

Doomed to fail


Let’s face the truth. We all are doomed to fail. All the efforts that we put in towards what we call success in life, are nothing but efforts to delay the inevitable.

Let’s take an example. Example of life. Will death be considered our failure to live? If so, then since our birth till we die, all our efforts for a better health and life are nothing but efforts to delay the failure.

Business for example. Every business has a cycle. The ups and downs. A trajectory that almost always spirals downward. The attempts are made to stop the trajectory from flatlining.

Brands constantly reinvent themselves and make themselves relevant to new consumers so that they don’t disappear into oblivion.

Business and brands have a role to play hence they must keep on doing what they are supposed to do. What matters to me is life and living.

In our effort to delay the inevitable, we focus so much on all the effort that is required, we stop living. We are more bothered about death and afterlife that we don’t even realise we are putting this life to waste. What is the point of living to be 100? What are we going to achieve? If anything, we are putting pressure on the eco system and thereby whole lot of other people who have to work even harder to go on living.

Same thing with relationships. We all want our relationships to succeed. To end a relationship is to accept that it has failed. Hence we focus very hard on making it work. We don’t realise that the spontaneity that existed at the beginning, we have killed it by making an effort to make it work.

But I guess that is how we are wired by the social construct. We are not supposed to FAIL. The education system, the professional life… they all instil in is the stigmas of failure and we carry that into our personal life too.

This post is totally random and stems from something I read about failure.

The Big Variable


When we embark on a plan, we strategise for everything. We take everything into account. Every possible factor that can impact the plan and our lives.

However, there is one variable we do not account for. The one variable we do not know anything about. The one variable that can make us a success, make us happy OR it can lead to a complete disaster.

The variable is linked to us being humans. Humans who have emotions. More often than not, our decisions are driven by emotions. We all like to be called rational beings but it is far removed from truth. Gut feel. Instinct. Like. Dislike. Fear. Exciting. Emotions come in various forms which make us who we are. Make us choose or not choose.

Imagine a scenario. A VC has five proposals in front of him. Every proposal is well thought out. The ideas are excellent. Every proposal almost on par when it comes to a sound business proposition. But he can only fund one start up. How does he choose? It boils down to personalities. People he will feel comfortable giving money to. His judgement of a person. His instinct. Now most will say the plan must have been better and therefore the funding. That isn’t the truth.

When we are hiring somebody, while qualification and experience is fine, we are focused on our interaction with the person. Likeable personality comes into play.

Same goes for relationships. We like a person. We hate a person. We love a person. It is all emotion.

Our love for brands is also in the same category. Yes we do rationalise purchasing a particular brand but it ultimately is about how the brand makes us feel.

We can never account for this variable. We have no way of knowing how the person will react. What are his motivations. What are his barriers. Did he get up from the right side of the bed when he was taking a decision. Is he under some kind of intense stress. Is there something happening in his life that might impact his decision. Maybe he doesn’t like people in beard. Maybe he is short and doesn’t want tall people around him. You never know. And you are left wondering what went wrong. Similarly, there can be pleasant surprises too.

The point is that your success or failure is not about whether you planned right or not. It is not about whether you were good or bad. It is a function of somebody out there making a decision based on his emotion. How he feels about you. Yes being good at what you do matters but only up to a point. After that, emotions come into play.

And the truth is, it all happens in first two minutes. The first two minutes usually decide what is going to be the outcome. So look for the signs. You will know.

 

50:50


Every decision that you take, either will be a success or a failure. There are no half measure. There is no point in being almost successful. It’s a failure.

Most people, while they want success, they are planning for failure. Looking at all factors to mitigate risks. We do this not just in business situations but also in personal life. We prefer to tread path which involves very low risk or no risk at all. We shy away from tough decisions. We don’t want to get out of our comfort zone. We look for excuses that will help us rationalise our thinking.

I know enough has been said and written about this.

But hey, 50:50… don’t you think those are great percentages??

You could do all the analysis in the world and yet not account for being blindsided by something that you did not take into account at all! That one factor which you were not aware of. Was not even on the horizon as a threat. Similarly that one factor that would have led to immense success but you could not see it and hence chose not to walk down that path.

The point is, you can’t plan for failure and hope for success.

The trick is to play the odds. Either you are a roaring success or a spectacular failure. Either way, you would have learnt something.

So why don’t we take the chance? Fear of failure. Fear of upsetting the status quo. Fear of losing it all that we have right now.

I know I am guilty of not taking risks myself. Well I have, but not when they mattered the most. There is time for a change.

Fear


An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm.

Let’s face it. We all have fear. It perhaps rules everything that we do. We may choose to deny it but the fact of the matter is that all our decisions in life are governed by fear. We always say that we are governed by rational thinking and need to be practical but the truth is that our rationality is rooted in the most irrational emotion – Fear.

We work hard to become successful… whether it is at school, college or work. Why do we do that? Why do we work so hard? Because whats the alternative? Not succeeding? And who doesn’t want to.. and it is the fear of failure that we work hard… we cut corners… we bend… we hold our silence and more often than not… we kill the honest inside us…

We can choose to live in denial and thump our chest to say that “I have not done anything like this ever. No one can question me and my commitment to what I do” but let’s face it… when you are alone with yourself… don’t you think about it? That one big presentation which was going to decide many things for you… you were petrified! your exterior was all about confidence but inside you were a jelly.

Exams, Interviews,  first day at school, first day at college, first day at work…that first date… first love… they all invoke fear. And it is dealt with in two ways… either we give up even before trying (at least in our heads) or we use fear as a leverage to build strength in ourselves and we succeed.

In relationships, it works differently. More often than not, it is the root cause of relationships going sour. It is also the cause for us to be in a relationship even if it is shot to hell. It is also the cause for the relationship to fall apart. Do you know what the fear is here? Fear of being alone. It is a petrifying thought. And this thought leads to the choices we make. Fear leads to selfishness. At the risk of destroying other person’s life, we choose us over them. We demand… we want the other person to prove their commitment and failure to do so is used as a reason for our future action. Most give in… most choose to live in a relationship even it makes them compromise on a lot of things… When faced with the fear of not having a relationship that meant so much, we bow down. We also bow down when we choose to be in a relationship due to what the society will think or because the commitments that arise out of that relationship are far greater than the commitment to that relationship itself. We want to be known as a good father… a good mother and tell ourselves that we have made a sacrifice (please read my post on sacrifice if that word comes to your head)

What if we chose to delete this emotion from our head. What if we decided that I am not going to live in fear of anything. What if we decided that fear of what may happen if a certain thing does not happen not govern our decision? Will we lose or will we gain? Will we live or will we die? The answer to this is not easy. I have made many choices in my life governed  by fear. Have they all turned out right? I don’t think so. Not because am not successful. But because when I think about myself, when I look in the mirror that reflects my soul, it is a reflection of my face split into two images. One is unhappy and the other one is happy. Why? because the decisions which were not led by the fear of ‘what if’ created moments and memories that are worth a life time… I did not think what would happen… i just went ahead… But the decisions which were governed by fear, sure they led to the desired result but…

What is your view on fear? Oh hang on, none of the readers would comment on this. In my post yesterday, I asked people to comment… to reveal if they would want to change things in their past… not one comment. I could see people had read the post and liked but none commented. We would rather bare our lives on banal social apps like Facebook but we are afraid to let people know what we think deep inside….