A university professor opened up his class by picking out of his back pocket a £20 note. In the lecture hall of about two-hundred people, the professor asked: “How many of you would like this note?”
Naturally, all two-hundred hands of the students went up. The professor said, “Interesting, before I let you have it, let me ask you this question.”
He then took the note and folded it in half and said, “How many of you now want this note?” Still two-hundred hands of the students went up.
The professor then said, “Let me try something else.” He took the note and crumpled it and said, “How many of you want this note now?”
Still two-hundred hands of the students went up. Finally the professor threw then £20 note on the floor, screwed it into the ground with his shoe and crumpled it even more.
He then picked up the crumpled note that was now covered in dirt and said, “How many of you want this note?” All two-hundred hands were still up.
The professor said, “Today you’ve learned an important lesson. No matter how much I crumpled that note. No matter I crunched it up. No matter how many times it was stood on, you still wanted it because it was still worth £20.”
In the same way that £20 note held it’s value, so do you. No matter how many times life will tread on you. No matter how many times life will crumple you, scrunch you and squeeze you… you will always keep your value.
That spark that exists within us all of bliss, knowledge and eternity, will never be taken away.
Our value is not created by the price of our clothes or our bank balance or the job title that we have. We should be building our life and not just building our CV’s.
In the middle of 2009 he was the software engineer that no one wanted to hire. He had 12 years of experience at Yahoo but he was rejected by Facebook and rejected by Twitter.
He has been to a great university, had a great CV, but he decided to team up with one of his alumni members at Yahoo and started to create an app and focus on the startup space.
Five years later he sold that app for $19 Billion dollars to Facebook. Believe it or not, that was Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp.
In 2009 when he was rejected by Facebook he said: “It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s next adventure.”
When he was rejected by Twitter he responded by saying: “Got denied by Twitter HQ. Would have been a long commute.”
It’s so interesting to see someone who was rejected by 2 of the top internet companies responded with humour and positivity.
This man watched his first company crumble. He was a Harvard University dropout. his first company’s demo didn’t even work.
He went on to build Microsoft. His name is Bill Gates.
This lady was diagnosed with clinical depression. her marriage had failed and she was jobless with a dependent child. She was on a four delayed train journey from Manchester to London in the United Kingdom.
During the journey she came up with an idea for a book about a wizard and as she started writing. When she finished her manuscript she took it to 12 publishers and was rejected by them all.
Believe it or not, that is J. K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter fantasy series, one of the most popular book and film franchises in history. She's now a billionaire.
Speaking at Harvard’s graduation, J.K. Rowling spoke about failures: “You might never fail on the scale I did,” Rowling told the new graduates. “But it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.”
So, failure is just a sign, showing us that we need to widen our scope, to be ready and build ourselves up for the next level.
Actually, what we end up achieving is far greater that what we envisioned for ourselves.
This divine plan, this orchestration can’t be happening without the intervention that occurs. If we had it our way we would just settle and accept the goals that we thought we were chasing.
But, when you don’t achieve what you’ve been chasing, further down the line you will look back and reflect. You will then realise that what you’ve gained is so much greater.
Failures are only failures when we DON’T learn from them. When we learn from them, they become lessons.
We can then extrapolate all of these teachings and get more insight into how we can improve the way we work and how we can drive with a different energy.
The challenge we have is that we only talk about peoples failures when they succeed. That’s why it becomes a taboo and we feel like these famous peoples failures never happened and success came easy to them.
We need to share these stories of failure. We need to bring out these stories and experiences that happened on the journey.
In this way people who are on that journey can actually follow in those footsteps. That’s why Steve Jobs (founder of Apple) said: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.”
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Jay Shetty is a Huffington Post featured Vlogger, motivational philosopher, keynote speaker and urban monk. He is the creator of Invisible World, short film series on YouTube and coach to several corporations including Accenture, Nasdaq, Bank of England and EY.