person standing on hand rails with arms wide open facing the mountains and clouds

Monday Musings 43

Succeed Or Learn To Succeed Later

हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम् |
तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चय: || 
Bhagavad Gita 2.37||

hato vā prāpsyasi swargaṁ jitvā vā bhokhyase mahīm
tasmād uttiṣhha kaunteya yuddhāya kita-niśhchaya

Translation – (If you fight) you will either be slain in the battlefield and go to the celestial abodes (as a shatriya dying in battlefield), or you will gain victory and enjoy the kingdom. Therefore, arise with determination, O son of Kunti, and be prepared to fight with determination.

Swargam and kingdom are used as metaphors here. This is a very valuable indirect message from Lord Krishna not to start any task with the #FearOfFailure. Start any initiative with a strong determination and conviction that the initiative will succeed and it will succeed. Success probability will come down significantly even if you have an iota of doubt. Best option is to start with the thinking ‘I will succeed to realize the intended benefits or learn to succeed in the next attempt’. Failure is not in the vocabulary. Antonym of success is ‘Learning to succeed in the next attempt’.

Every failure, every loss is a learning opportunity. Giving up is the true sin. Life is one big adventure, and nobody can guarantee success all the time. Taking responsibility for one’s life, living up to one’s potential and extending the envelope of experiences is the way to earn good Karma – just sitting by the side lines, doing nothing, refusing to take any responsibility is a sure shot way to incur sin.

Sin is in not discharging ordained responsibility for the ‘fear of failure’ or in ‘giving up in failure’.

Would this mean blindly jumping to an initiative without analysing the ‘probability of failure’. Not at all. Any action can be taken only if there is ‘Realizable Benefit’ from the action which depends on ‘probability of success (or failure)’ and ‘benefits on success’ and ‘consequence of failure’. But once a decision is taken to ‘take the plunge’, there is no place for ‘probability of failure’. It is 0% for all the initiatives.

Not only at the time of starting the initiative, but this also helps in taking up failures in right perspective. Criticize your team for not taking up required actions but never demean your team for their failures. Cheer them up that it is a great learning for the next attempt.

Bid for new projects with the strong belief that you get the project if you win and the time and money spent is an useful learning for the next bid if you end up not winning the project.

I follow this principle religiously and I benefit immensely from this.

Discussion on success and failure, gain and loss, happiness and misery will continue in the next episode from the very next Gita sloka.


Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.



Stay tuned and be the first to know when new content get published!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Join the Bhogya Community

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get notified of updates!