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Rising from Failure Series - Story #1

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

Ms. Sumalini B Swamy Principal Silicon City Academy of Secondary Education Bangalore, KA, India.


“Success is not final; failure is not fatal” I grew up believing “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of

others”. As a young bubbly six years old I aspired to be a doctor – the noblest profession that provides priceless service -service to humanity.

I excelled in academics as I thought it is an entry card to make a career in medicine. Although I knew it is in everyone’s cup of tea to be a lifesaver. I started my preparation early on studying 12 hours a day, sacrificing a lot of things like not watching television, not attending any marriages or functions, etc. My parents were very supportive by keeping me away from excessive guesting to provide me with a peaceful studying environment. While my high school friends having a gala time socializing I found solace in electromagnetism and periodic tables. I never went out for movies or long trips with my friends. I haven’t celebrated New year and other important days too, as I knew that hard work, dedication and sacrifices were prerequisites to become a successful doctor.

My childhood dream to become a doctor shattered when I missed my medical seat by a whisker, it came as a shocker for me as I had always been a high achiever both in academics and sports, I felt it was the end of the world, for the first time in my life I had tasted failure. At a very young age of 15 years, I have learned life’s lessons that you cannot always be a winner, failure is a stepping stone to your success.

Thanks to my Dad – Pillar of my strength, He explained that the one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried and does not fear failure. When I was disappointed that I couldn’t serve society as a Doctor, He pointed out that I can serve society as an educationalist too. He also encouraged me to take up the teaching profession (Noble profession) as service to mankind is service to God. I have learned that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a part of success. Only after this incident, I realized that we must keep trying and do not give up.

Now as a Principal of a reputed school, I am disciplined, systematic, organized, meticulous and I strive for excellence, thanks to my failure otherwise I wouldn’t have learned important lessons. I play a key role in strengthening schools and communities, working alongside educators and students. I am happy that I am making a difference in my student’s life. My students are now serving society as successful doctors, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals. Yes, I am not saving lives (as a Doctor) but I am delighted to nurture young, creative, contributing, socially responsible global citizens.



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