TED Talks

The failurist: Markus Zusak at TEDxSydney 2014

As kids in school, we are always taught that failing is the worst thing that could happen to you.

But is failing at things, really the end of life as many seem to teach us?

Watch Markus Zusak’s TEDx talk on how failing helped him to write “The Book Thief”, one of the best books I have ever read (Review and movie trailer here)

Some points that he mentioned, that I would like to highlight are:

– Every Success I’ve ever had, came wrapped in a gift box of failure.

– Positive thinking does not always work, maybe, sometimes we need a little negative thinking.

– To this day I am grateful to the people for recommending it (The Book Thief) to their friends, as their friend would say “Well, what’s it about?” and you gotta say “Well, it’s set in Nazi Germany, it’s narrated by death, nearly everyone dies, it’s 580 pages long. You would love it.”

-At that time when I was writing it (The Book Thief), I thought no one is going to read it, so I might as well write it exactly how I want to. That little bit of negative thinking gave me the courage to follow my own vision completely.

It’s true, isn’t it? When you think what is the worst that could happen, and work keeping that in mind, you probably work better.

Personally, failure has been critical in where I am right now. In early 2013, I ended up working at an advertising agency. I wanted to be in content writing, but I had not written anything substantial to be hired professionally. My second choice was client servicing, but there was no vacancy, so due to a good pay, I ended up working in the business development field. I knew in the first few days itself that I did not like the work, and at the end of the three month probation, I was told by the firm that it’s not working out. That time I was ashamed. Not because I thought the firm was wrong, they were right, I was not able to perform, as I was not enjoying the work, but because I thought I had “Failed”, and people who fail are weak and not good enough. I was so ashamed that I made excuses and hid the actual reason behind this all.

Now, in retrospect, I think that was the best thing to happen to me. If they had not said “It’s not working out” I might never have said to myself, “Ha, they think I am not good enough, I will show them they are wrong!”. I might never have started Koffee Kreations, my own graphic design firm, working on this, I realized I wanted and loved blogging and writing, and started getting work to write content professionally. What I could not achieve when I had nothing, I achieved because I failed.

Maybe it is time we stop being afraid of failure and embrace it as a part of our life. We should learn that failure is not bad if we learn from it and get motivated from it in order to become better versions of ourselves. Failure is only bad if we fail to accept it and learn from it.

 

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