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Elon Musk And Virat Kohli Learned From Their Failures, So Can You

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”Charles R Swindoll

Life is a roller-coaster ride. There are unexpected twists and turns. There is never a smooth passage. The moment a person thinks that they are getting a hang of it, it can completely topple their hopes. Life is full of turbulent times – with dark clouds hovering above the head, a deep dark abyss with no ray of light and adverse situations that can even break the most resolute minds.

But, despite these dense clouds and catastrophic times, the indomitable human spirit has lived long and often come out victorious in the toughest of times. Those who have struggled and excelled are the ones who never gave up on their dreams and never cast a doubt on their capabilities. The fire in their spirits have melted mountains, their unwavering attitude has split valleys apart and their undaunted resolve has helped them conquer the world.

After the chaos created by IIFT this year due to an unprecedented paper, thousands of students were left to grieve over their failure to score good marks in the same. For months, students from all across the nation were building strategies and tactics to ace this exam by solving mock exam papers and questions from previous years.

But, the exam took everyone by surprise and seemingly shattered the hopes of many aspirants. Even the best of the minds failed to anticipate the move, and students were jumping from section to section like headless chickens with no game-plan. But, the greater damage that this exam did was to break the morale of the students – rendering them devoid of any motivation for the future exams. In fact, I see a lot of distressed souls with no vigor left to crack the other exams like XAT, SNAP, CMAT, TISSNET, etc.

Now, this is the part where most people go wrong. After tasting a few bitter failures, many people give up on their dreams and opt for an easy way out. They start doubting themselves, instead of fairly evaluating the circumstances and the conditions that led to their failure.

Failures are the greatest teachers. They help one to establish their physical and mental boundaries. One can learn loads of wisdom from them, which no amount of theoretical knowledge can provide. A failure, if embraced in the correct fashion, can help one to identify what’s going to work and what won’t work.

However, in the majority of the cases, people see failure as a hindrance to their pursuits. Those who cannot stand after experiencing a fall will not able to innovate, and are bound to perish. But those who are persistent with their clear visions are the ones who stand out from the crowd and lead the pack.

The man who revolutionised the world with his bizarre ideas and took the technology industry by storm, Elon Musk, has many credits to his name. The mastermind behind some of the giant companies in the world (like PayPal, Tesla Motors, Space X and SolarCity) is a role model for budding entrepreneurs and for everyone who dreams of making it big.

Elon Musk (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

His life has been a tale of struggles, of failures and disappointments. But, he didn’t crumble in the face of adversities. According to him, “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” Each failure offered a plethora of new opportunities for him, and his resolve to transform the world with his eccentric ideas became firmer.

A sportsman who is revered by the cricket community and is looked upon with awe is the new run-machine known as Virat Kohli. With six double centuries and 20 tons in Test cricket (with an average of 53.75), 32 hundreds in ODI matches (with a whopping average of 55.74 and a strike rate of 91.73), this man is changing the landscape of Indian cricket. He is slowly cruising towards become the best batsman in cricketing history.

But again, his transition from being an ordinary cricketer to becoming a legend is a journey full of rugged phases and tumultuous times. The 2014 India tour to England was a disaster, where he scored a mere 134 runs in 10 innings. He also failed to deliver the goods in the ODI series, following the Test series. Yet, he didn’t stop believing in his capabilities. Through his intense training, workouts, and practice sessions, he came back so strongly that he not only secured his spot in the team, he also started leading it.

Virat Kohli (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Those who do not dare to dream big are sure not to face obstacles and roadblocks. Remember, there is comparatively less competition at the peak. Only a few people have the fortitude and the audacity to pursue their goals till the end. To be able to move consistently on the path towards accomplishments, one needs to have more of a disciplined mindset, rather than just being motivated.

Motivation, in my opinion, is a highly over-rated word, which people seek to strive for their goals. They keep searching for videos, books, and articles to give a stimulus to their drive. But, even though motivation can get you started, it can’t keep you going. It is everyday discipline which eventually translates into a habit – and finally, into behavior.

Someone rightly said, “If an opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Don’t let a few setbacks get to your psyche. Self-doubt and self-loathing over failures cannot help you to unleash the vast energy hidden inside you.

Efforts shall bear fruit – and I swear they’ll be the sweetest you’ve ever tasted. After all, where’s the kick and fun in embarking on a journey that doesn’t involve turns and twists, and is plain as hell? So, pull up your socks, tighten your seat belts and let your preparation go full-throttle. I assure you that a glorious future is waiting for you.


Featured image sources: Mark Brake/Getty Images, Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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