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How to Work With Failure

- By Shalini K, 05 July 2021 | 4 MIN READ


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Have you met anyone who has never failed in life or someone who has never felt grief or sorrow? Many of the world religions say or teach us that God tests to make us stronger. The statement can be arguable however we cannot deny the fact that we all go through failure at one point or another in life. 

A setback affects us in different ways. All of us are not equally capable of handling or facing failure. Only few can easily brush off defeats in life but many struggle to overcome obstacles and some can go into depression. And there are many cases of suicides. 

Scars can make us look beautiful, defeats can make us stronger. Japanese ancient practice can inspire us to beautify our souls and life in spite of any disastrous loss or fiasco. We cannot stop something from happening which is not in our control but how we respond to the situation and arise above the circumstances is totally in our hands. Kintsugi is an age-old Japanese repair tradition that fixes broken pottery in a very beautiful way. Instead of throwing away broken or defective vessels, practitioners of Kintsugi also known as gold splicing fix these damaged items with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum, highlighting the cracks or damage rather then conceal or hide them as a way to celebrate imperfections. 

Kintsugi technique has its inspiration from Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. This classic idea indicates a more connected way of lifestyle, it's necessary to be connected to nature or our truest selves rather then just believing in the outer surfaces. Wabi-sabi also parallels the idea of stoicism, where accepting the reality or imperfections is vital to transcend the physical nature.It is to remind us that everything is impermanent and will fade away someday. So in that context everythings cannot be perfect as life is always evolving and changing.   

Our failures also cannot be permanent. It's natural for us to evolve or move forward. We can learn from our mistakes or failures with awareness. You will never find a person who has not failed or made a mistake, it would be really foolish to think that failures happen only with us. Accepting failure is the gateway to wonders of life.

When someone fails it does not affect us emotionally because we do not experience it personally, we look at some one’s misfortune or failure rather objectively. We think everything is perfect with us and we are untouchables.But when it happens to us it shakes our confidences because our ego or self respect, reputation or the images which we build about ourselves are hurt. It leaves us with embarrassment because all long we were under the strong belief that we are immune to failure or we do not make any mistake.  

But the truth is, life throws many challenges at us, things will fall apart, the beautiful life we built around us might crumble. It is only wise to use that experience to move forward. Let the failures be the golden marks of experience like in Kintsugi. All the experiences we go through, most importantly the failures give us a character and redefine who we are and thus giving us the purpose of life.

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