Thomas Edison failed many times before successfully inventing the modern electric bulb. He said, If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forw – Personal Statement Example
USC Thomas Edison failed many times before successfully inventing the modern electric bulb. Instead of being discouraged he said, “If I find 10,000 ways something wont work, I havent failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” Undoubtedly these lines possess the spirit that motivates people to persevere without getting demoralized by failure.
Success can be well defined as “the ability to visualize what you want in life- what you want to contribute and what you want to be, do and have- and to enjoy the process of taking action toward that vision, learning from the process, making the vision reality, and then creating a new vision- again and aging” (Carr-Ruffino, 2004, p.136).
I firmly believe that failures are the pillars of success, because each time one fails to achieve the target, he or she learns something new that assist in achieving the target. The experience of failure takes him one step closer to his destination by narrowing down the list of probable alternatives available. According to Kolb (1984), “experimental leaning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience” (Kolb & Boyatzis, 1999, p.2). This theory clearly states that learning is a cognitive process, which can be attained through personal experiences and experiences of the peers and that there is no end to ones learning.
Many teachers are of the opinion that failure acts a good motivator for those students who fail to achieve good marks in the examination. The experiences of the past help them to perform better in future. However, students nurture a different opinion all together. Past experiences of many students reveal that chronic failure leads to a vicious circle of misgivings and students get tangled in a web of guilt and remorse, which prevents them from making further attempts. Continual failure makes one pessimistic about his own abilities resulting in a situation which is termed as ‘learned helplessness’. Learned helplessness has been defined as “the belief held by the students that no amount of effort on their part will produce success and that events and outcomes in their lives are beyond their control” (Wiseman & Hunt, 2008, p.46).
Learned helplessness is one of the syndromes that are born when people fail to make positive utilization of the experience gathered in the process of making attempts. People fail not because they lack confidence and strong determination. On the contrary, they fail because they can’t conjure what they actually want to achieve. Misguided target fails to generate the required motivation for making necessary attempts. Therefore, it is equally important for people to realize whether the destination will urge them to put the necessary effort to carry out the journey for achieving it.
In my childhood, I learnt a popular phrase that says, ‘the real failure in life is when a person fails to learn from the failure’. This idiom has always helped me to recuperate whenever I was bowed down with failure. From the very childhood I nurtured a strong desire to study under University of Southern California, consequently last year I applied to the University for granting me a berth in Biochemistry department. However, I failed to get an admission in the university. Though I was very disappointed when the results were declared, I did not lose heart and this year I am again making an attempt to get admission with Economic and Mathematics as the major subjects.
Though apparently it might seem that the last year had gone waste, in retrospection it had been a learning experience for me. This incident compelled me to evaluate the reasons of my failure. Last summer, I enrolled for an introductory class in economics and to my utter surprise I realized that economics is a great subject to pursue. I always had an interest in world economy, and the classes strengthened my belief that interest coupled with effort will help me achieve my dream. Mathematics too is a wonderful subject that can solve almost all the problem associated with real life condition with just a bunch of numbers. My new found interest has instilled in me the confidence to take up the exam with renewed vigor. The previous failure had made me realize that no matter how pathetic is the failure it is not a failure unless one learns something from it.
Life is like a crest and trough of episodes, every incident should be cherished and every experience nurtured. I have always tried to analyze the reasons for failure instead of pondering on its consequences. This has a double faced benefit. It not only did away with the negative feelings but also provided the information that assisted me to rectify the mistakes that I committed in previous attempts. My slogan in life is to ‘try and try until you succeed.’
Carr-Ruffino, N. The Promotable Woman. Career Press. 2004.
Kolb, D. A. & Boyatzis, R. E. The Experiential Learning Model and Learning Styles. August 31, 1999. Experiential Learning Theory: Previous Research and New Directions. .
Wiseman, D & Hunt, G. H. Best practice in motivation and management in the classroom. Charles C Thomas Publisher. 2008.