In the previous article, I wrote about the board exams and the final exams of the schools and advised the students and the parents to take the results positively and move forward. This is absolutely fine not to get distressed because of an average or below average performance but one should definitely try to look into and analyse what might have gone right and what might have gone wrong in their efforts. In this context, I would like to discuss about two words which are taken very negatively by most of the people and these two words are stress and failure. Yes, many will agree that stress and failure should not come in their life ever. Also many people struggle to understand whether stress is the cause of failure or failure is the cause of stress? All will have their own opinion but this is for sure that most of the times fear of failure is the major cause of stress and this might lead to failure definitely. There are many educationists and psychologists who do not consider stress and failure to be negative but both the words can be made the launching pad for success. Some people say that stress can be of two types; one positive and the other negative. Others do not agree with this and for them stress is stress and cannot be divided into two groups. I tend to agree with the second school of thought. Stress can be said to be positive if it yields positive results and negative if the results are otherwise. Being absolutely stress free is also not good for progress and improvement. Let us try to understand what stress is. In the simplest way this can be said as the response of an individual to any form of demand. This demand can be internal or external and the amount of stress will decide what is going to be the result. If the stress taken is extreme, then there is always a possibility of negative result and hence such stress will be termed as negative stress. On the other hand, if the stress taken is in a controlled measure, then this will definitely boost the performance of an individual and such stress will be termed as positive stress. Stress can be due to both, external demands as well as internal demands. In case of students, this is mainly exam related but there are many other reasons also. I would like to confine this with regard to the examination only. The stress related to exams is due to the demand of getting good marks or qualify one particular examination. Till this demand is within the limit, the stress caused by this will be very useful and the person will be able to perform to the optimum as per the potential of that individual. But if the demand goes beyond the limit then the result will not be positive and this demand will turn into negative. If the students are absolutely stress free then they may not work that extra mile which might help them better than what they could have done with a bit of stress. Some amount of stress will always help the children to concentrate and focus before and during the examination. But the stress should be short term only because long term stress will cause problems to all. The external demand like from parents and teachers which may be much more than the potential of the child will always have negative impact and cause problems to the child. If a child has a bit of stress that he should not fail in the exams otherwise his mother may not be very happy with that and this makes him to study harder, then to me, this stress is worth taking because this will help the child to focus and concentrate on his studies. Short term stress and a controlled amount would help the children however if it is long term and a great deal then it will be detrimental for the growth of the child. My advice to all children and adults is not to create undue and unnecessary stress. But always have this demand from self that you should get the result as per the potential gifted to you by the Almighty.
Now let us talk about another word mentioned above and that is failure. Failure in a very simple manner can be said as to be the situation in which we are not able to get the desired result or could not reach to the goal envisaged by us. Not achieving the desired goal is not necessarily a positive thing but this cannot be termed as absolutely negative also. The result is very important but the journey to reach or get that result is more important. Take the example of Arjun who could shoot the eye of the fish with his arrow in the first attempt which is one incident but to reach that a lot of things would have happened. He must have failed so many times while practicing and in the test conducted by his teacher but he would have certainly learnt FROM THE MISTAKES COMMITTED BY HIM DURING THE LEARNING. Even the mistakes committed during learning or in the form of negative result are also the steps of learning. The ones who could know their own shortcomings and mistakes became a better person in future than the ones who could not know their shortcomings. Take another example from nature. A child learns to walk only by falling and getting up on his own. People learn riding bicycle or motorbike by trying continuously. From these examples we realise that to achieve perfection we need a lot of practice. In the book ‘Outliers’, the author talked about ten thousand hours practice which made many people succeed in their profession (I wrote about the same in one of my earlier articles). If a child tries a question a number of times and still does not get the correct answer it does not mean that he has failed because now he knows it very well that this question cannot be solved by these methods which he has been applying till now and there is a possibility that the new method used by him might give him the correct answer. To me this child has learnt more than the one who would have got the answer in the first attempt only because this child would not know those methods by which that question cannot be solved. This does not mean that we have to always fall short but what I meant to emphasize by mentioning the above example is that failure is not necessarily negative if one learns a significant lesson from that and attempts to solve the problem by different method. Failure is inevitable and every one faces this genre of circumstance in life. Those who learn from the failures and do not repeat them, succeed in life and others who curse the failure might get into depression due to the stress of the word ‘failure’. Failure should be taken in a manner that it helps us to perform better in future than holding us back. We all fail so many times during the day but many a times try to avoid the things done in the same manner which lead us to fail in the task. The most important thing which I always emphasize is to learn from the mistakes which might have been committed during the journey in spite of cursing and getting into depression due to the negative result. I strongly believe that life is full of uncertainties and that is the beauty of it and we must enjoy that. So, try to be happy in every situation but focus on your target and enjoy the journey to reach that target. You may fail many a times during the journey but if you are focussed then you will definitely achieve your goal. Make failure also as the weapon to achieve success.
In the end, I would like everyone to please consider stress and failure as the part of life nonetheless do not allow them to be hegemonical and master you rather you master them and accomplish your goals.