• 52°

Nalini Joseph: Take risks, recover from defeats for greatness

I was watching an interview with Vinodh Khosla, the Indian American venture capitalist who founded Sun Microsystems. He spoke in his interview about failure, and how important it is for top-notch companies to hire employees who have experienced and lived through multiple failures. 

Khosla talked about failure as though it was a life event to be celebrated! He reminds us that those who have taken risks and continue to take risks regardless of the possibility of failure are those who will ultimately win. In fact, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. The greatest innovations are those which are not necessarily visible in mainstream but on the outskirts. Remember when people were asking who would buy a phone that did not have a keyboard on it? Steve Jobs took a risk, and going against mainstream advice, created the iPhone. Twenty years ago, I remember thinking something along the lines of, “Why would I need a traveling phone?”

I also spoke with a politician who ran four times for elected office before he finally won. If you know anything about running for an elected position, you know it can be a daunting and nerve-wracking process; it is a mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting journey. He has run many times since those losses and has won each time. This is what I call true perseverance and a true calling into public service. 

Risks must be well thought out and calculated. Simply picking up the pieces from a failure and trying all over again does not mean guaranteed success. Failure has to be examined through a microscopic lens. Egos must be set aside. Accountability, self-criticism and criticism of those on your team — often those who are your most trusted allies — is necessary. 

Your criticism may be harsh, and you may have to make tough decisions about who remains on your team as you formulate a plan for the next venture. It is, therefore, interesting to me that many parents, including myself, work hard to shelter our children from criticism. As good parents, we focus heavily on boosting their self-confidence and self-esteem. We are our kids’ No. 1 cheerleaders, knowing how difficult childhood and adolescence can be. 

I often have to remind myself it is not necessarily a character defect when my son experiences failure. If it is indeed a character flaw, it does not have to be a permanent one. It is not a precursor to how the rest of his life is going to play out. 

We simply have to examine the failed situation in its entirety. My job as a parent then becomes that of the coach whose team has just lost the game. If my child is going to win the next time around, he has to do some serious introspection and some very hard work. Think about how you as a parent can use your child’s next failure as an extended learning opportunity.

Together, analyze what went wrong. Talk about the environmental conditions, the human factor, the systems that should have been in place that were not, the planning or lack thereof and the execution of the plan that went awry. Discuss the next plan and tell your child to write it on the whiteboard or on a sheet of paper that goes up on the fridge. Talk about the risks, the possibility for another failure as well as the likelihood for success.  

A friend who works in the mental health field once told me we, as Americans, have an exceptionally low tolerance for pain, be it physical, mental, or emotional pain. Our low threshold for pain has led us as a society toward escapist behaviors, which can then lead to addiction problems. However, if we plan for failure as a byproduct of the endeavor for ultimate success, our disappointments are only temporary.

Nalini Joseph is a resident of Salisbury. She is the proud mother of 10-year-old honor-roll student, Rohan Joseph, who serves his community as president of COVID Busters. Email her at nalinijones1@hotmail.com.

Comments

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds