Monday, January 27, 2014

FAILURE IS GOOD – HOW TO HANDLE FAILURE – a Philosophical Approach

HOW TO HANDLE FAILURE – a Philosophical Approach

Nowadays, in the modern world of today, I am a rare commodity.

Yes, in todays competitive art-of-living philosophy exemplified by the dictum: “Winner takes it all and loser is left standing smallwhere everyone is a success, I am a rare commodity.

I am a rare commodity because I am a failure.

But let me tell you one thing  FAILURE IS GOOD  as long as you know how to handle failure.

Or, to put it in better words, you must know how to “manage failure.

Dear Reader: For your perusal, let me re-post, once more, a piece I wrote long back on FAILURE MANAGEMENT:

Retirement Ramblings 


Every person, sooner or later, goes through a moment when it seems that he or she is on the wrong road, that his entire way of life is wrong.

Have you ever experienced this feeling?

Think about it.

Do you find yourself stuck in an incongruous career?

Do you feel trapped in an incompatible relationship?

Do you feel stifled in a desolate place?

Do you feel hapless, suffocated and frustrated with life?

And sadly there is nothing you can do about your frustration owing to compulsions and constraints beyond your control.

You cannot turn around and retrace your steps or change your road of life.

It seems you have crossed the point of no return and you have no choice but to keep on travelling on the “wrong” road of life.

Failure follows failure.

And with repeated failure comes the fear of failure.

It is indeed a terrible vicious cycle which gradually overwhelms you with the chill of despondency.

What can you do in such a situation?

You have to learn how to handle or manage failure.


How do you manage failure?

Maybe the answer lies in a saying I read somewhere a few years ago and noted in my diary:

“ Ou Dieu vous a seme, il faut savoir fleurir ” 

which roughly translated means

“ You must know how to flower wherever God has sown you ” 


“ wherever God plants you, there you must learn how to bloom ”

If you do not get what you like


you must learn to like what you get 


you must make the most of it 

Like they say in the Navy: if you don’t like it, just lump it 

That is the Navy Philosophy  whatever you get, you just like it or lump it 

There is another saying I read a few years ago:

If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.

Yes, when life gives you a lemon use that lemon and make lemonade instead of cribbing and carping, wallowing in self pity, becoming bitter and spreading bitterness, and making your own life hell and everyone else’s life miserable.

Like they say in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming):

There is no such thing as failure” 

There is only “learning experience

So, metaphorically, the lemon” is the failure and the lemonade” is the learning experience.

And this “learning experience” will enable you to “flower” and bloom wherever you are “sown” or “planted

Well, I have tried to follow this mantra  “ Ou Dieu vous a seme, il faut savoir fleurir  


When I was in the Navy, wherever the navy transferred me, to whatever job they assigned me, whether they promoted me or not, I tried not to get disillusioned or demoralized, and in my own inimitable style, I tried to do my best to “flower” and bloom wherever I was “sown” or “planted

Yes, I made lemonade” with all the lemons the navy gave me.

I am trying to do this after my retirement too, trying to “flower” and bloom in the back-of-beyond lonely place called Wakad, near Pune, where God has planted me after my retirement. 

That is one of the reasons you are reading this blog  yes, the result of all this “flowering” and blooming is this prolific blog and the couple of books I have written. 

Well, I am going to flower and bloom away and bash on regardless with my blogging and writing since this is the best thing I can do where God has planted me. 

God has given me the lemon” of loneliness. 

And from this lemon I made the lemonade” of my blogs and my books.

Have a good day.

Whatever lemons” you get today, just keep making lemonade” and enjoy every drop of it.

And talking of the lemon” of failure, let me tell you one thing I have learnt from my own life experiences.

Sometimes, failure is good  you can take my word for it.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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This article was written by me in the year 2001 in our in-house journal, given as a pep talk by me many times to my students, colleagues and trainees, and posted by me earlier in my various blogs at urls:

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