Motivation Lost and Found: My Story of “Failing Forward”

Failing and getting back up is a normal part of life, but no one likes the idea of failing—I can personally vouch for that. We all wish we could learn lessons in ways other than the harsh one, but failure is by far the best way to learn and to blossom into the best person you can possibly be.

Our society stigmatises failure as something to avoid at all costs. But do we ever know true success until we have experienced and undergone failure? It’s like people say: “You don’t appreciate the sunny days until you get the rainy ones.” I think, had I not experienced failure and recovered from it, I would not have grown to be the person that I am today. I am grateful for my failure, because it helped me to succeed.

My idea of failure might be different from yours, as failure is so subjective (just like success), but here is my story.

Through most of my education I coasted from achievement to achievement; nothing got in the way of my stride of success. Then, one day, my natural ease for success failed me. Or I could say that I totally failed myself.

It was a crucial time where I needed to get into the right mindset and power through my final year of school.

Instead, I grew lazy; a body sprawled on the sofa, scoffing food for comfort and binge-watching any television that seemed mildly amusing. I was constantly worn out and tired, as if I had barely 3 hours of sleep where I actually had a solid 9 hours. My days consisting of nothing more than mindlessly staring into space whilst minutes turned into hours turned into days of this consistent unproductivity.

All my motivation and energy had vanished, vaporised into thin air. I do not know why this happened, or what caused it, but I was completely deflated and unbothered about life. I was failing to take my future seriously, and if I did not act soon enough, I would only live to regret it when I got my final results back.

After coming to this realization of the consequences, I saw how ridiculous I was being. I needed to give myself a pep talk. With realisation came the motivation and energy I so desperately needed to do well in my exams, and it was the luckiest thing that it came at the right time and before it was too late.

Because I realised before it was too late, I did well during the final part of the academic year and on my exams. Had I not, this would have been a totally different story that I am glad I don’t have to tell you.

Failing is a part of life, but so is perseverance and getting through the failures to learn and better yourself. Like success, failure is also something to take in your stride.

When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.

– Ellen DeGeneres


Arveen is a young blogger from London who enjoys writing poetry, playing violin, and motivating others to overcome life challenges. She lives by the mantra: Once in a while, blow your own damn mind. Define success on your own merit, achieve it on your own rules and build a life you are proud of and empowered by.

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