How to Turn a Failure into a Success
There are many ways to do this. I’ve recently discovered one way, and it turns on where our focus lies.
The key is in the finishing.
When I got into the University of Washington, I had a great first quarter. Then I faltered the next few quarters, and my GPA teetered around the 3.0 mark. I felt socially awkward, hadn’t joined in many student orgs, and felt a huge lack of motivation.
The summer before my last year, I began putting in much more effort. I took up a position in the fraternity, putting vision for recruitment into action. I became very fit, working out every day for a month. Finally, I had a spiritual experience studying Sikhi in India. Coming back to UW, I lead new, innovative projects in my fraternity, got my highest grades in my time at UW, and enjoyed great times with friends. I finished my time there with a bang.
Here in law school, I had a rough and largely unsuccessful first semester. Yet, the 1L year is not finished yet and I’m hardly close to finished with my Law school experience. How I finish will shape the entire experience.
In our musical, TORT (Theater of the Relevantly Talent-less), I came in having missed the first of only 6 weekly practices. I felt lost and confused most of the time. Yet at our performance, I gave it 110% on the last night. My dancing went well, and I pushed each small scene and roll I occupied, giving it all the enthusiasm I had. That’s what people will remember me for. All prior failures are ignored for the final resounding success.
So, if you’ve experienced a failure recently, keep up hope. What matters is not how you’ve done in the past, but how you finish. I find this very empowering, since it means that at any moment I have the power to turn my life around or take it to another level. What’s especially helpful is crafting a vision for the future 5, 10, 20 years from now.
What’s one endeavor in which you can finish with success?
It doesn’t matter who’s ahead or behind during the game, but who wins when the clock winds down that matters.