The Greatest Teacher, Failure Is
Overnight success is a myth, one must go through life learning processes called failures. This phrase is something we have all heard before, even from the most successful people in history. However, this was something I refused to believe in, hoping failures will never cross my path. Yes. Growing up with good academic performance in school had led me to be in denial about failing in later life.
Striving to become top student in the class had been smooth sailing thanks to the support and upbringing of my parents. Without realizing it, I became a results-oriented person. I was focused on aiming only for the title, causing the value of learning to be overlooked. Plus, I felt enough by my capability and didn’t go beyond my barriers. I was completely staying in my comfort zone. However, these years have been part of the most beautiful moment in my life. I still remember the joy and excitement of playing catch and run, hide and seek with friends as a kid.
Entering high school, an instant sense of questioning overcame me. What am I doing? What is the purpose of my life? However, for me, the answer was never entirely clear. For the first time in my life, I got a sense of why my counseling teacher in junior school ever taught us about ‘Finding Ourselves’.
Getting into college marked the beginning of new chapter in my life. On the first day of OSKM at Institut Teknologi Bandung, I met a lot of new friends with diverse origins. Knowing I would spend the next four years with them, I was so excited to embark my journey. But, life doesn’t always go the way we planned it. College life requires learning style of understanding the concept. I remember getting 56 in physics mid-term. Feeling stressed, the first thing I thought every time I woke up was the bad score for one week straight.
Even so, giving up was never an option for me. Instead of memorizing the material only to forget it the day after the test, I focused on understanding the basic concept. I learned to enjoy the process of learning and realized a good process will always produce a good result, while a good result doesn’t always come from good process.
As a college student, I tried to join leadership programs such as Tanoto Foundation and XL Future Leaders. I failed both in the last selection process, the interview. For Tanoto (November 2018), it was because I lacked in my communication skills. Failure hurts, but this led me to learn and practice more to improve my communication skills. In July 2019, I applied for XL Future Leaders Batch 8 more well-prepared. I reached the ultimate stage: the interview, but failed because I lacked in organization experience and I stuttered during the question about it. It was painful, but again this pushed me to involve myself more in organizations. Last year (2020), I applied again for XL Future Leaders Batch 9 because I was still eligible for the program. Despite of the long selection process from July-October, I really enjoyed it especially when I met other candidates during Leaderless Group Discussion. I reached the ultimate stage again, the interview. Unfortunately, it doesn’t belong to me even now. Later I found out those who passed, some were brave enough to ask for help from the previous awardees.
Gyel Tshen said, “Every will has alternative ways. If one way doesn’t work, try other one”. The failures to join leadership program for three times won’t stop me to try for the other. I couldn’t imagine what kind of life-changing experience I will gain. But sure, it will be a memorable and eye-opening one!
Just like in Oh-Choong Hwan’s Start-Up, the character Seo Dal-Mi says,
“Deserts would cover the entire world if it was sunny every day. We need rain and snow for plants and delicious fruits to grow”.
Being comfortable with discomfort is necessary in order to achieve something greater, because life’s greatest lessons are best learned through pain.
Thank you for reading, and see you on another blog! 😄