The easiest way to fail is the worst way to fail

Suppose we attempt something challenging and fail. We may feel disappointed, even devastated. Not wanting such negative emotions, we may choose the easy way out: stop trying to do anything difficult. We may return to our routine unchallenging life and think we have protected ourselves from the pain of failure. Have we really? 

Through our life-journey, we all can grow spiritually and contribute socially; we have been given abilities and proclivities that we can use to make our corner of the world brighter, even if in a small way. And the Bhagavad-gita stands ready to reveal how we can do our part better. 

But if we fear failure so much as to not even try to do our part, we leave the world darker. And we may even darken our own heart by resenting others, especially those who are brightening the world. Moreover, we may encounter the darkest feelings of regret at the end of our life, when we bitterly rue the worthwhile things we didn’t even try, though we could have. “If only …” are probably the saddest words to utter when life has passed us by, nay, when we have let life pass us by. Pertinently, the Gita (18.39) reproaches as ignorant the pleasure that comes from avoiding difficult things — that pleasure is delusional from beginning to end . 

Even if we don’t resent or regret, our fear-driven shirking from challenges will still end up making our entire life a huge failure —  a tragedy of wasted potentials and lost opportunities. 

One-sentence summary:

The easiest way, and the worst way, to fail is to never attempt anything challenging; we may avoid the pain of small failures during our life, but will make our life itself a giant failure. 

Think it over:

  • How can fear of failure darken our heart?
  • By avoiding anything challenging, how do we make our life a giant failure?
  • What worthwhile challenge are you putting off? In taking up that challenge, how can Gita wisdom inform and empower you?


18.39: And that happiness which is blind to self-realization, which is delusion from beginning to end and which arises from sleep, laziness and illusion is said to be of the nature of ignorance.

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1 Comment

  1. Hare Krishna !
    Nicely Explained Prabhuji

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