As a parent myself, I am reminded of an important lesson every time I see my daughter, Vedoci, fall upset with small and big failures in her life. The lesson is that of communication, encouragement and passion. At these moments I find it best to draw my arms around her and tell her that it is absolutely okay to fail at times. A message that both parents and kids alike need to learn and remember, especially at this time of the year! With the board exams upon us parents need to remember to encourage passion more than stressing about academic success. And I will always have my mother to thank me for this, as she encouraged me to follow my passion by accompanying me to the most unheard of places of source raw materials or to meet vendors. Because, it is a combination of hard work & passion that will lead to success.
With the board exams just around the corner, there might be a lot of pressure piling up on kids (as well as their parents) to ensure that they fare well so that their ‘future is made’ or ‘life is set’. Failure in these exams is thought of as unthinkable and life destroying. However, failures can also be important lessons and opportunities that life provides to those who have it in them to steer their destiny.
Throughout my school life, I stood out as a grade A student with a creative bend. Thus post-school, I enrolled myself at Sophia Polytechnic College to major in Commercial Art and Design. It was there where I found a wild side to me. I started all the vices – smoking, drinking and bunking lectures without caring much about my academics. Soon enough when my first-year mark sheet arrived I found out that despite all my creative talents I had failed the foundation course in commercial art. This was a huge blow to me; especially because of my history of being the head girl and a student with straight A’s, from my school days. I had asked for trouble with my actions and this was the Universe’s way of giving me a challenge to overcome.
Almost immediately, I found myself wanting to prove that I wasn’t ‘stupid’. You see, what you feel inside is what you think others feel about you too. I thought everyone felt I was a loser. Hence, I plunged myself into whatever was available given that I couldn’t go to college for a year.
But it was this failure that motivated me to do something productive with my free time. I started sitting at retail shops around college to learn about retail. At the same time, I also enrolled in part-time courses like screen-printing and interior designing. All of this helped me acquire crucial knowledge and skill that was later key when Baggit started growing & I was able to build many Exclusive Retail Stores without the support of a formal Visual Merchandising team.
There are many more such stories of failures that turned into tremendous successes, inspiring people all over the world. However, this does not mean that I set myself up for failure every time I try something new. However, failure isn’t a fear anymore; it is an opportunity to learn & to evolve.