How to handle failures with scientific temper

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Failures happen in everybody’s life. We have heard, read, or watch great people reminding us that failures are the stepping stone to success. Yes, the statement is true but failures can act as stepping stones to success only if we know how to deal with them. Otherwise, failures remain as failures and success remain as a distant dream.

What would an average person do, if a failure struck his life? First of all, he or she starts blaming on the regular scapegoats – god, fate, horoscope or even a poor cat that crossed their path.

To deal with failures, first of all, we need to know what a failure is and secondly, we should learn what scientific temper is.

A failure can be termed as an activity that goes wrong or didn’t achieve the desired result. Our religious, spiritual upbringing makes us blame fate, the positions of stars and planets or zodiac signs for our failures and wrongdoings in life. Taking responsibility for our failures requires courage and unfortunately, most of us lack it.

Science is the pursuit of truth and facts. Science moves along the path alight with the luminosity of evidence. Without evidence, nothing can be stated as a truth or a fact. This is the way of science and an open, inquisitive mindset based on scientific knowledge is known as scientific temper.

Physics, a branch of science works on the universal law of cause and effect. For an effect to take place, there should be a cause behind it. We can apply several theorems of physics in our day to day life. Sir. Isaac Newton’s third law confirms that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

If an activity we undertake meets with failure or cant achieve the desired results, there are possibly three reasons. Firstly, the effort or cause is not sufficient to bring the desired effect. Secondly, the effort was directed in the wrong direction and thirdly, the situations may not be favoring the outcome or the result.

Last week, while I was talking to my cousin who was younger to me, he told me that he was preparing hard and appearing for a number of examinations to enter government service. He also complains that even though he works hard, he couldn’t clear even a single examination.

I told him that, last month, I cleared the Research Analyst certification examination of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). After clearing the exam, I became a certified research analyst in the Indian securities market.

To clear an examination that is filled with mathematical formulas and business terminologies was basically a tough task for a journalism graduate like me. Since clearing the exam was highly crucial to take my business forward, I had to clear it at any cost. Anyway, I failed in the first attempt to clear the examination. The failure was really unexpected and it put me down mentally for a few days.

But, when my scientific tempered mind rose up from the emotional strain of failure, I realized that the effort I exerted was not enough to bring the desired effect. In short, the cause was not enough for the effect. Only at the second attempt after a week with an ample effort, I could clear the examination.

Just imagine that, can you move a thousand-pound rock with your bare hand? A human being can’t do that even if he strengthens his hands and legs to the maximal level.

The feat of moving a thousand-pound rock is an impossible task unless we exert a mechanical force on it. Impossible things can be possible if we put the right amount of effort, in the right direction at the right time.

In the world of business, an investor with common sense never invests in a business, how great the business idea may be if the macroeconomic situations never favor the business idea. If the situations never favor an endeavor that you plan to undertake, wait for the wind to favor the sail, otherwise just leave it and move on!

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