Failure is not about losing and Success is not about winning: SIDMBA 2018 Farewell Speech

My Farewell Speech to SIDMBA 2018 Students – ” First thing I want to say is ‘thank you’ for your excellent cooperation during the entire course. Well, its the last day for all of you – OFFICIALLY – at IIT Delhi, however, you all will be tied to this institutional set-up forever now. Because just as every framework in strategy I have taught you have a caveat and so does your certification from IIT Delhi. This is because now it doesn’t matter what your earlier background was, now you all are trained in IIT set up and this itself is the great caveat. Because now you all will be judged constantly as a result of this stamp of IIT Delhi and will be expected to make no mistakes whatsoever in life!!

However, you all are bound to face failures and setbacks in your life and thus my last piece of advice to you all would be that – Failure is not about losing and success is not about winning. So why do I talk about the benefits of failure in your farewell speech? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential in us. We stop pretending to ourself that we were anything other than what we were, and we direct all our energy into finishing the only work that mattered to us. In the words of JK Rowling – It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

In fact, one of my favorite quotes is from the movie ‘Friday Night Lights’.

“Success is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman – you’re perfect!”

Thank you so much. I wish you all the success in life!!

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