‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue which counts’ is a famous quote attributed to Winston Churchill. Well, it is not important who said it, what matters is that it makes sense and will always remain relevant in any walk of life.
Fear of failure is the biggest cause of an idea not taking off. Failures are part of life and should be accepted as such. Somehow, as a society we are reluctant to accept failures. People just wait for an opportunity to make fun of failures. Such opportunists are best ignored.
Failure is not fatal….
Giving up is not an option for an innovator. Failures, delays will take place. Do not get into the blame game on meeting resistance. The aim should not be to point a finger but to fix the problem. First step should be to take ownership of the mistake followed by a detailed analysis. Once the reasons have been fixed, fresh plans are made and executed to reach the goal. The process should go on till the goal has been reached.
My military experience has shown that hardly any operations go as per plans. The enemy will always do something unexpected. There will be fatal casualties. Nothing can be worse than seeing the badly wounded body of a colleague. The leader is a human, but his face doesn’t betray his mind. The mind works furiously in that heat of the battle and changes incorporated in the original plan. The aim is not lost sight of even for a minute. Contingency planning is what normally takes the operations through.
Soldiers do not rest till they have got their ‘target’. It may take hours, days or even months at times.
Success is not final….
Like a failure even a success generates fresh challenges. The individual or the organisation has not just to keep innovating to remain at the top. No success can be termed as the final success. Individuals may retire but the organisation has to keep moving forward. It is not easy to be at the top forever. It demands application of both mind and money to improve the men and material.
People often ask why the defence forces are always on training. Well, that is what will ensure success on the day of reckoning. No army can afford to rest on past laurels. It has to be future ready. Thus, the need for continuous up gradation of knowledge and skills.
There are reversals in military operations but still soldiers never suffer from fear of failure. It is because of the trust in God and faith in their professional skills. Before stepping out from the post for operation soldiers seek the blessings of their God and after that the only thoughts which remain in the mind are of the impending operation. Any thoughts which can generate fear are all left behind in the post.
In military operations capturing of an objective does not mean rest. Another objective is designated, and another battle begins. Even if a new objective is not nominated sustaining the captured position itself keeps the soldiers on their toes.
Courage to go on….
Yes, it requires courage to keep going in the face of adversities and stiff resistance. Specially, if serious reverses have been encountered in the previous attempt. Reverses may be in the form of financial/ material loss or even heavy casualties in military operations. The mind which does not go numb in the face of reversals is the mind which succeeds.
Even after success is tasted maintaining the position itself keeps the mind and the body occupied. The courage to keep innovating, keep improving, keep fighting, keep going is what matters most in failure and success both.
Human mind has two distinct qualities. First are the insatiable desires which keeps fueling/ pushing for more. Secondly, the mind does not accept a failure easily (though most would prefer to give up). This is what leads to invention/ discoveries. Till the mind behaves this way “Success will not be final, and failure will not be fatal”.