The proverb means that success comes through failures. He only fails who tries not utmost to do something. It is meant as an encouragement to those who fall in life, and to give them the urge to try harder. As the poet said –
Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain.
They have got to try again and again in the face of failures. A man learns by trial and error. After learning the useful lessons of the first failure, after guarding against and correcting those defects, the earlier failure can be made the stepping-stone or springboard of sure success. If they fail once, they will gain experience there form that will help and guide them in their second efforts. By making use of these experiences, they will grow wiser, feel surer, and at last achieve success.
But the lesson is not confined to individuals. The greatness of a people is built up on the efforts of generations who have toiled, failed, striven, and left the experience they have won by their failures to coming generations. The truly great are those who work not for immediate success but for a future triumph. It orders to make failures the pillars of success, it is best to be warned of the causes of failures. The fool often fails because he thinks that success is easy. He overreaches himself and fails. On the other hand, many fail because they are too nervous. “There is no defect in truth save from within”.
Hence, it is only when failures bring out the best in us, our sleeping talents, that we come to have an importance in life. Failures must be a challenge to us to do our best, to try our utmost. We must face failures with this firm resolution to overcome them.
In order to do this we need have to show certain mental qualities. First, we must be persevering. We must try again and again. Secondly, we must have courage. We must have the will to score victory. Thirdly, we must be optimists. We must have confidence, that in spite of failures, we will succeed. We must live not for ourselves but for an ideal, for a cause. Defeat belongs to a person, a cause can never die.
There is heroism even in failure if it comes after a sincere struggle. It is good to see a man fail in spite of all efforts. We may vary the words of Shakespeare and say—
It is better to have fought and lost,
Than never to have fought at all.
We must be able to look back on our failures, with pride for they are standing testimony to the heroism within us. This is possible if we feel that we have tried our best and have not spared ourselves in our efforts.
Failures, of course, can be depressing and disheartening. When honest efforts end in failure, it is difficult to keep one’s spirit. The remedy against this is a strong spirit, an indomitable will. Above all, one must meet the challenge of life with unfailing heroism that knows not despair; and one must be able to say with Lady Macbeth—”But screw your courage to the sticking point and we will not fail”.