Does success often start with failure?

Does Success Often Start With a Failure? Each one of us has faced failure at some point in our lives. But did you ever think that some of the...

Does Success Often Start With a Failure?

Each one of us has faced failure at some point in our lives. But did you ever think that some of the greatest successes you can think of began with a FAILURE? Well, Yes! Take a look around the world near you and you will realize what I am talking about. History has it that people who were deemed failures in the first place, surprised the world with their deeds big-time.

  1. Albert Einstein

As a child, he was judged to be mentally challenged and was told he would never amount to do anything because he did not speak until he was four and was unable to read till seven. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was prohibited from taking admission in Zurich Polytechnic School. But, is there a need to say more as to how he turned out? He is the man who changed the face of modern physics and won the Nobel Prize for the same. He once said, “I have tried 99 times and have failed, but on the 100th time came success.” This single quote tells a lot about his optimism and the way he thought of failures in life.


  1. Chester Carlson

The Xerox Machine, now known as a copier or copy machine, famed inventor was erst while he was rejected by more than 20 companies before he found his business partner. He even tried to sell the invention to International Business Machines (IBM), the world renowned vendor of office equipment. But, even this company did not see merit in the concept evolved by the Xerox Man and turned down the offer. Finally, it was the Department of Navy that took some interest in his creation. Who’s laughing now?



  1. Walt Disney

Although today Disney rakes in billions from movies, merchandise, theme parks all around the world, Walt Disney had a rough start. Did you know that he was fired from the Kansas City Star newspaper because the editor thought that he lacked creativity and had no good ideas?  After this failure, he tried his hand in businesses that didn’t last for long and he ended with failure and bankruptcy. But, he did not lose hope and kept plugging along till the time he attained success. Now the name Disney is known by almost every child and adult, and Disney cartoons continue having a huge success amongst both children and adults. I guess his boss was not quite the visionary..

walt Disney

  1. Thomas Edison

Teachers thought that Edison was too stupid to learn anything as a child and later his professional life was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive. As an inventor, he made 10,000 unsuccessful attempts before finally inventing the light bulb. Thomas Alva Edison is now quoted for whenever a person loses hope while striving to achieve success. One such quote that comes to my mind now is – “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” This quote resonates in the minds of all those who just flipped back before reaching the edge.


  1. Bob Dylan

The world acclaimed singer, song writer, artist and a writer had its own band known as the Golden Chords. The band lost to a tap dancing act in a high school talent competition. But as noble minds have said, “Behind every success story is an embarrassing first effort, a setback, a stumble or a radical change of direction.” Now, Bob Dylan has been a candidate for the Noble Prize in literature, has made 36 studio albums, 58 singles, 11 live albums, 11 albums comprising The Bootleg Series, and numerous compilation albums. His songs have become poems and inspirations for thousands of young people, and the sountrack to many of the 21st Century’s political revolutions.


All these people who started with failures now are registered as being some of the most powerful and memorable names all across the world.

You will be amazed to know that each year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation holds a Fail Fest where they celebrate the lesson learnt from bad investments and failures. So, surely failure can make a person feel insecure and lose hope, but this feeling shouldn’t prolong because failure is an important part of success. If majority of your time is spent fretting over things and past mistakes, you may lose your opportunity. Failure thus, constitutes an essential part of success. We all learn from our mistakes, but we should also learn to put them behind us, roll up our sleeves and finally get back on to work – This is how one gets success. Instead of remorse, stop thinking and start working. Success will come your way and you will definitely carve out a better future.


Akanksha Mittal

Akanksha Mittal, an avid reader, frequent traveler and a passionate blogger hails from Delhi, the capital of India. Her key areas of interest lies in politics, foreign policy, and international relations. When it comes to learning about different faiths and cultures, she is always curious. She can be reached at [email protected]
2 Comments on this post.
  • Roger Hawcroft
    Roger hawcroft
    30 June 2015 at 6:59 am
    Leave a Reply

    Thank you for this article, Akanksha – it is refreshing to read about the positive and taking a positive approach to life. I’ve always baulked at the concept of failure, in spite of always having felt myself to be one. One of the things I dislike about the concept is the way it is used by some teachers and parents in comparing one child with another in some strange and misguided attempt to motivate one of them to do better. Another problem I have with the concept is how, when something doesn’t work out in the way someone wished, it is used to label their decisions as wrong. In my view, any decision you make has to be the right one for you can’t know what would have happened if you’d decided some other way. For instance, in Dylan’s case, if his group had won the competition, he might never have taken off for New York on his own and … So, what may have been disappointing and seemed like failure may actually have been contributory to success. We can’t know the future and it seems flawed, to me, to use hindsight without recognising that *any* past change would have altered the future and thus how we perceive the present.

  • Akanksha Mittal
    Akanksha Mittal
    20 August 2015 at 8:23 am
    Leave a Reply

    Thank You Mr. Hawcroft!

    Each one of us have seen a failure in his/her lifetime. Failure makes a person grow and we learn from our mistakes. I would like to quote one saying from our Late Ex-President who had described failure soo beautifully because he himself has experienced one in his lifetime when he was young studying, deciding on the career to choose and while making the missile for India. He is popularly known as ‘India’s Missile Man’. So, here it goes –

    “If you FAIL, never give up because F.A.I.L means “First Attempt in Learning,
    END is not the END, in fact E.N.D means Effort Never Dies,
    If you get NO as an answer, remember N.O means Next Opportunity”.

    Thus, it is a strange world where different people act differently to a same given situation. The reasons for their ‘approach and reaction’ to failure lies in their head which gets transmitted from one generation to another. What the parents say when a child ‘fails’ in any situation gets embedded in his/her mind oblivious of him as to what to react. Owing to which some might take criticism in a positive sense while for others it may not go down well. And the reasons to these responses are best known to them.

  • Leave a Reply



    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.