I recently came across a quote from Indian writer and inspiration figure Chetan Bhagat on disappointment and failing.A bit of context on who this guy is, Chetan Bhagat writes op-ed columns for English and Hindi newspapers, including Times of India and Dainik Bhaskar, focusing on youth and issues based on national development.In 2008, The New York Times called Bhagat “the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history”. Bhagat, a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, is seen more as a youth icon than as an author. Time magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Here in this piece he talks about how to manage disappointment, frustration and failure.
“Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.
Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.”