Just few weeks back, a Princeton Professor Johannes Haushofer (psychology and public affairs) posted a CV (resume) listing all the major failures he faced during his career, in his official website. It’s just a usual CV except for the fact that it lists all of his failures and not his achievements. According to Haushofer, we all are known for our achievements. And people treat us according to the successes we get. Many a time, we judge others by their achievements. And we come to believe that these people never met with any major setback in their life. Whenever, we ourselves face any failure, we admit that we can’t do anything great and lose the courage to continue. This attitude is common for many, except few. So he wants the world to know how he acquired the present status. How he battled through the oddities of life. Here is the CV (can be obtained from his website):Johannes Haushofer (CV of Failure) (pdf)
Weeks after that, Amish Tripathi, a well-known bestselling author, known for The Shiva Trilogy, did the same. He, like, Haushofer, listed all kind of setbacks in his life. He also mentioned the number of times he was turned down by publishers while publishing the first book of the series – The Immortals of Meluha. Here’s his CV of Failures: Amish Tripathi (CV of Failure)
And just recently, entrepreneur & venture capitalist Ankur Warikoo did the same. He published his own CV of Failures. He mentions the fact he couldn’t get admission to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) after multiple attempts. That he couldn’t get to National Institute of Technology (NIT) & St. Stephen’s College. That he couldn’t get to Indian Institute of Management (IIM) & Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for higher degrees. At the end, he also mentioned that he has not been perfect at anything. Still, managed to start many ventures, of which Groupon is significant. Here’s his CV of Failures:
In the coming time, we can expect more people to come up & show off their own struggles to the world. The concept, the trend; whatever you call it, is very innovative. Very different from our common perception. Most often we are ashamed to show people our failures. If we are asked about our scores, our salaries, we often hesitate to tell, thinking what others would think about us. But Haushofer thought that in different way. Instead of people admiring us for our achievements, why shouldn’t they know about the failures we won over. This not only projects our struggles, but also encourages those who are struggling through bad times.
Each of us, at some point, faces a situation when we need to question our abilities, our limits. It’s a do or die kind of situation. Many emerge over such situations multiple times & steal the show. And many fail. Just few months back, I got to read a question in an online forum. The person, in his thirties, was repenting on why he couldn’t be great. He compared him with many well-known personalities and why he failed to achieve as they did. Basically, he was dissatisfied with his life. There were many answers to his query. But believe it or not, these are the situations when a person breaks down and can’t endure. I don’t know if those answers were of any help to him. But above all, if he himself doesn’t try to overcome the difficulties, he would always consider himself a loser.
To a query about how Elon Musk achieved that much, in Quora, a close friend of him (I forgot the name L), replied that his abilities to not conceive failures is his greatest strength and the reason he succeed terribly.
The point is – look around you. You’re not the only one to face setbacks in your life. There are many who are facing the same situation. We think that others problems are not as big as ours. But the truth is, no matter how small it is, every problem for every individual, seems bigger to him. The difference is created just because of the reactions to these failures. Some admit their failures and keep believing them as losers. Others rise above these & keep carving something new every time their previous plan or venture fails. And the truth is – out of hundreds of shots, one is gonna be successful no matter what. Otherwise, keep trying until you get it.
Maybe, one day, I publish my own CV of Failure online. And yes, I encourage you to do so. By this, you are showing light to those in darkness! I end this with a quote I love the most:
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. (Michael Jordan).