We had been following cars all week, studying the route, mastering the path so that I could ensure my success. We arrived at the DMV and nerves crept over me as I stood in line, waiting for my DMV instructor to get the test started.
The instructor came up and told me that I was not registered for the test. I felt like bawling in my car.
I was sad and did not know what to do. When I got home, I just sat in my car for about an hour, nearly sobbing, I felt like all my hard work and effort went for nothing. I had just wasted all of my time and effort and did not even get the chance to try. It just had me depressed.
I continued to sob inside, and then my father came into my room and decided to cheer me up by telling me funny stories about people failing their tests and how at least I didn’t fail and still had a chance to pass on my first try. Now, I will be taking my test in a month and hopefully I can pass the test with flying colors.
Many companies in the tech world face this sort of dilemma all the time. A team of producers will work on a product for years only to realize that their product is not superior to their competition, so they are forced to not release their product to the market. This happened to EA Games when they were about to release NBA Live 13. They had been working on this game for nearly two years when they realized their product was not superior to their main competition from 2K sports and decided to pull the plug on the project. Many employees and fans were sad for quite a while, but soon they realized that they had cut their losses before they made them, saving the company money and allowing the developers to keep their jobs and work on larger and better projects in the future.
What do EA Games and I have in common? We both realized that while something may seem like the end of the world at a point in time, it is in fact not nearly as bad in hindsight. We will all fail at some point in our lives; our success, however, is dictated by how well we get up and dust ourselves off. If companies like Apple and EA Games stayed in a state of depression and unproductive nature after every failure, they would not be the billion dollar empires they are today.
So if you are unsuccessful, don’t understand a concept in engineering, get rejected by a girl, or just blank out during a speech, don’t worry. Just remember that it is part of human nature to fail. How we succeed is calculated by how much we learn from those failures and how we proactively think to ensure we never make those same mistakes again.