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And I stood in front of the mirror in my room. It was a long monday. A lot had happened, a lot was thought, a lot was found and a lot was sought. I left for office in the morning as usual. I waved 'tata' to my mother, my father, my sister, and my wife. I reached office on time, began with my work and stuff. But something was running at the back of my mind which I did not let show on my face till it was somewhere around eleven o'clock when I checked the website where the results of the exam were to be declared. This exam is a professional exam that I had appeared for. Its a devil of exams as my fellow students say. The most feared exam of all and what not. I checked that website and found out that I had missed it by seven marks. And this was the second time that I had missed it by such a short margin.

Something struck me inside. Something like a storm, a lightning or an earthquake. I quietly went out of the bay. I went to the coffee machine, grabbed a coffee and sat down on the staircase. No one was there. A normal student would have felt sad about the result. He'd be frustrated, discouraged, demotivated, irritated or whatever. I never had any such feeling at that time. Not even for a second. I was calm. As if nothing had happened and as if its a usual affair. For me it was just the second time, but I had heard stories about people who failed this exam for more than 10 times and felt sad everytime. Then why didn't I feel sad? Why was I not frustrated?

As the coffee continued to get colder, I got a feeling which a prisoner would get after being released from the jail. I could visualise myself coming out of some strange door and looking at the sky once again. Was it because I never wanted to be behind that door? or was it because I couldnt really survive there in that room? I wasnt alone, to say that no one was there for me. There were people. Hundreds and Thousands of people who inspite of several failures continued to try to get through the examination and be called a professional.

I called a few close ones to inform about this. My wife, My mom, and another person from whom I had taken some advice. The rest of the day went pretty normal. I believe some of my colleagues must have expected a party from me that day but they might have figured out that it was not a moment to celebrate. I'd not have minded to throw a party though. Because somwhow for me it was.

I came back home at regular time, dropped my bags, washed my face and I stood in front of the mirror in my room. I looked at the image in the mirror. He wasn't same as me. His smile said a million different things to me than which I had in mind. "What are you going to do?" He asked. "Are you going to take it again? Oh yeah you have to take it again, its your principles that drive you. You never quit. You never back down. Fine ! But tell me one thing honestly, is it really what you need to do? Is it really something that you WANT to do? Is it something you can proudly associate yourself with? Tell me."

I couldnt really find answers to all of his questions. Yes I had to take it again, no doubt about it. But it had never been something that I really wanted to do with all my heart. It was completely my choice when I had joined the course. But moving forward, when efforts started to mismatch with the rewards, I began to lose interest in it and at that point I felt like, 'well, hold on, where am I heading, and for what?'

I believe, very few people in the world dont really face this question at all in their lives. Very few, get to do what they love to do. Enviable, at times. I had read a good quotation somewhere. It said that it is infinitely better to live a life of catastrophic failures, than to live a life of could hav's should hav's and would hav's. I really found it true. I had decided. I had decided to go ahead with what I was doing. I had to get done with that exams and stuff once and for all. But I decided that I will never wait for that 'one day' when I will do what I love. There is no 'one day' like that. If there is, it is today. I wanted to start doing what I love right from that very day. I decided I will never wait to do a thing I love. I may fail, once again just like I did in this exam. But I will never have to say that 'I could have done this' or 'I wish I had tried this'.

I never like to be 'a part'. I always strive to be 'apart'. That is my own principle and I decided to stand by it. I never had been 'a part' of all those fellow students when they discussed about studies with intensity which was far lesser than the intensity with which I discussed about things like photography, travel, driving or technology at the same time. And I decided never to be 'a part' of the people who wait for the so called right time to do the things that they love to do.

Though it was a failure on paper. It meant something very different for me. It gave me not just the strength to take my shot again at the exam, but also made me re-discover myself; my interests, my preferences, and my principles. I thank the examiner for this. This blog is an outcome of that very feeling which I described above. Though its not the topic that I really wanted to begin with. But I did. I feel happy for that. I really mean it when I say that its not always right to wait for the right time. Fact Remains; I had failed. Fact Remains; I had gained.


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Tags: Failure


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Comment by Apurva J Oka on February 17, 2011 at 6:48pm
I would be more than happy to help anyone if I can, with study tips, motivation etc. Feel free to write to me
Comment by CPA Exam Club on February 17, 2011 at 5:14pm

Thanks Apurva!!!  Club members, I had asked Apurva to include this post from his blog...for those of you struggling with a non-passing score.  Feel free to join us over at the Did Not Pass (DNP) Support Group:  

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