‘Haar ke jeetne wale ko baazigar kehte hai’ – this Shah Rukh Khan dialogue from the film Baazigar is a damn cliché, but the words can’t be more true.
To be honest, nobody really likes failures, they hurt and they hurt badly, but one cannot always escape them either. What truly matters is how you deal with them, either you lay low in that pit of failures, or courageously pick up from the wreckage, play bold and turn them into stepping stones of success.
Just like these seven extraordinarily successful people. They too experienced disastrous situations in life, but instead of drowning themselves in miseries, they carved a unique path to success and made a mark for themselves. They are perfect examples of why failure should never stop you from playing bold and chasing your dream…
Mr. Bachchan is a legend that every young actor aspires to be but Big B didn’t earn his megastar status without encountering some major setbacks in his life. The man who stormed into the film industry as the angry young man had his shares of troughs and crests. Unlike other superstars, Amitabh Bachchan ran into failure at the peak of his career. In 90s, Bachchan was hit by a slew of box office failures, his production company ABCL turned out to be a complete fiasco, he was deeply in debt, with his home Pratiksha being sealed by his creditors. However, the downfall didn’t dampen the Piku star’s spirit, rather he decided to play bold and ventured into television as the host of the first season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. Simultaneously he appeared in senior roles in films like Mohabbatein, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Baghban etc. Within a few years, the Sahenshah claimed back his throne and achieved a super stardom status in the second phase of his acting career.
Tendulkar undoubtedly is the God of cricket, who has always given jitters to the opponent team when on the field. However, failure is something that even the master blaster could not escape. In 1997, when Sachin was the captain of the Indian team, he faced the biggest debacle of his career. In his autobiography ‘Playing it My Way’, Sachin confessed, “Losing a string of very close matches had left me badly scarred. I had given it everything and was not sure that I could give even 0.1 per cent more. It was hurting me badly and it took me a long time to come to terms with these failures. I even contemplated moving away from the sport completely, as it seemed nothing was going my way.” Obviously, Tendulkar overcame those bouts of failure and cemented his name as one of the most successful cricketer in the world.
Sunil Bharti Mittal
He is listed as the 8th richest person in India by Forbes with a Net worth of $7 Billion. But there was a time when Sunil Bharti Mittal, who started his entrepreneurship journey at the young age of 18 was literally out of business. In 1980, Mittal had started an import company named Bharti Overseas Trading Company. In 1981, he purchased importing licenses from exporting companies in Punjab. He then imported thousands of Suzuki Motors’s portable electric-power generators from Japan. By 1982, he had started a full-fledged business selling portable generators imported from Japan and just when he thought he was moving up the success ladder, his business was hit by an unpredictable misfortune. In 1983, the government banned the import of generators and granted the manufacturing rights to just two companies. Sunil Mittal was out of business overnight. “Everything I was doing came to a screeching halt. I was in trouble,” said Mittal in an interview. But did he give up, hell no! Rather, he courageously took another risk. He embraced the telecom business and started marketing telephones, answering/fax machines under the brand name Beetel. He was one of the first Indian entrepreneurs to identify the mobile telecom business as a major growth area. His plans were finally approved by the Government in 1994 and he launched services in Delhi in 1995, when Bharti Cellular Limited (BCL) was formed to offer cellular services under the brand name AirTel. Within a few years, Bharti became the first telecom company to cross the 2-million mobile subscriber mark.
His first film – Paanch still remains unreleased, but today Anurag Kashyap is a critically acclaimed director who has been awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), by the Government of France for his contributions to films. The Gangs Of Wasseypur filmmaker has proven time and again that failure can’t stop you from achieving your dreams. He has even confessed in an interview, “Failure is very important and I have mostly seen that and that is what drives me.” From being rejected several times to becoming an established director/producer, who is regarded as the face of an emerging new wave cinema in India, Anurag indeed had played bold in life to overcome his failures and make a mark for himself in the world of films.
N R Narayana Murthy
His first tryst as an entrepreneur was a company called Softronics, which he started in 1976. He failed at it miserably and shut shop in less than 18 months. But one failure was not going to stop Narayana Murthy from taking another risk. He played bold and founded Infosys in 1981 with an initial capital injection of Rs. 10,000 along with six other software professionals and the rest as they say is history. Today Murthy has been listed among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine. He has been described as Father of Indian IT sector by Time magazine due to his contribution to outsourcing in India and has also been honored with the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri award.
Forbes India has ranked him among the top 100 celebrities in India four times in a row, in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Amish was also selected as an Eisenhower Fellow, an exclusive programme for outstanding leaders from around the world. But can you believe it that the one book that brought him all these accolades was once rejected? Well, ‘The Immortals of Meluha’, Amish’s debut novel, faced rejection from many publication houses. Ultimately, his agent decided to publish the book himself in February 2010, and it went on to become a huge commercial success. It had to be reprinted a number of times to keep up with the demand. Today, Amish’s Shiva Trilogy has become the fastest selling book series in the history of Indian publishing, with 2.5 million copies in print and over 70 crore in sales. Well, as they say failure can never define you, what you do with failures does.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
“Failure will never overtake me if my definition to succeed is strong enough.” The Missile Man of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam stood true to his words. Not many people know but the recipient of Bharat Ratna award and several other prestigious honors had encountered failure at different stages of his life. But Kalam sahab never let those setbacks hold him back from defining his path to success. He always believed that the true secret of success lies in failures. In 1979, Kalam sahab was heading the Satellite Launch Vehicle mission when it was first attempted. In the first stage, everything worked fine. In the second stage, a problem developed and instead of the satellite going into orbit, the whole rocket system plunged into the Bay of Bengal. It was a big failure. The mission had failed miserably. However, APJ Abdul Kalam was not the kinds to succumb to failures. He and his team worked harder and in 1980 once again tried to launch the satellite — and this time they succeeded. “One of the important lessons I learned in the space and missile program was not just how to handle success but how to deal with failure. I would like young people to understand how they should manage failure. In any project you take up, you will face problems. These problems should not become the captain of the project chief; the project chief should be the captain of the problems and defeat the problems.”
So fellas if you ever experience failure, remember late Kalam sahab’s words, go ahead and kick some butt, eventually you will make it. After all, the key to success is to #playbold.
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