Friday, 4 January 2013

Failure and Success are equal and opposite!!!

In the seventeenth century Sir Isaac Newton staked his claim to immortality by explaining how and why apples fell.  Four centuries later I sat in a classroom full of students, most of who were staring wistfully at the playground outside and commited to memory Newton's third law "Action and reaction are equal and opposite",little knowing that it would go on to become an enduring life philosophy.

From its twisted origins, where I used it to justify a tooth for a tooth, this law eventually evolved into something greater and nobler. As with anyone who has lived, life has given me my share of failures and disappointments. Following every endevour that met with failure, the cumulative load of disappointment often took me from optimism to skepticism and cynicism. On one such day when life was throwing not apples but rotten tomatos my way, I audaciously declared my own law: "Failure and Success are equal and opposite"

This concept is simple enough and works no differently from the original law in the physical world. You fail; you react with an equal and opposite success. The catch? Unlike the physical world, it does not happen automatically; it has to be created. I tried it, at first skeptically, and soon it became a mantra. Simplistic as it may seem, it changes the lens through which you view your failures. The focus shifts from the burden of negative thoughts to creating a dream and a vision of what can be the equal and opposite success and how to get there. The bonus is that, often this positive energy produces successes that are not just equal and opposite, but in far excess of the failures.

Betrayals are not as much failures as they are a breach of trust and success here is not in retaliation but in the restoration of lost faith. Loss creates dark voids and triumph is in being able to rise above it and develop a deeper appreciation of the beauty of life. And sometimes seemingly significant disappointments are humbled by the surprising simplicity of the remedial measures.   The nature of the disappointment may thus change, but the law remains the same; if something is negative the positive equivalent has to be created. 

Has practicing this then made me insanely successful by the measures of this world? It has not and perhaps that is not what I aspire for as an individual. I still continue to face failures and disppointments. But the mantra even if temporarily forgotten does not desert me and it does its job of dispelling frustration and bringing in reassurance by reminding me that "Failure and success are equal and opposite"!!!!