Can failure be my stepping stone to success?

Airplanes have always been my interest and dream. From a young age, I had aspired to become a pilot or an aeronautical engineer. I followed my dream and went on to study foundation course in Engineering but failed to achieve the pre-requisite grades to enter an undergraduate degree in Engineering. I stopped and re-considered what drove my aspiration for Engineering and wrestled in my mind on the reasons to become an engineer. I have read in countless articles that an ambition must be fuelled by passion. The penny dropped, I was pursuing a dream not because I was passionate about Engineering but because I enjoyed the idea of flying and everything to do with travelling and buzzing airports. For example, from my desk in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), I am at awe at how Dubai’s growth today is underpinned by tourism with sprawling hotels and major infra-structural projects and real estates. The Dubai airport is one of the best airports in the world with extensive runways and duty-free. According to Dubai Airports 2013 statistics, a total of 66,431,533 passengers visited the airport and The National reported on 30th December 2014 that its the busiest airport in the world. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoom, the Ruler of Dubai saidWe, in the UAE, have no such word as “impossible”; it does not exist in our lexicon. Such a word is used by the lazy and the weak, who fear challenges and progress. When one doubts his potential and capabilities as well as his confidence, he will lose the compass that leads him to success and excellence, thus failing to achieve his goal. I require you, youth, to insist on number one.”  I couldn’t agree more, we must be bold and seize every opportunity and not be afraid of making mistakes because mistakes give us experience and courage to be experimental. UAE is after all an emerging country, a developing country and a young nation that recently celebrated its 43rd birthday. Before the formation of UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – the 2 largest emirates within the UAE were composed of tribes and used Gulf Indian rupee as its currency.  It is the Ruler’s vision that has propelled the country to rapid growth and development.

Pauline Estrem perfectly defined us as individuals who are so focused on not failing that we don’t aim for success, settling instead for a life of mediocrity. When we make mistakes, we polish our mistakes and edit that little part out of our life’s résumé.

According to Margie Warrell, there are three main assumptions that humans make when we are accomplishing a task. Admittedly, these three assumptions do run through my mind when a task is given. Firstly, we over-estimate that something will go wrong. In the article of Margie Warrell, she quoted Daniel Kahneman and his book Thinking, Fast and Slow which stated that humans tend to focus more on what will go wrong than right and it will most likely go wrong instead of right. That is why positive attitudes or thoughts are really important. Secondly, we tend to exaggerate on what will happen if it goes wrong. Rather than trying to solve the crisis which has gone off track, we think and imagine that our life would tear apart especially at home with our family and loved ones. We panic and imagine the worst case scenario, crippled with fear. Thirdly, we underestimate our own ability to handle any task. Well, this would hit the top of my list of assumptions. Never in your life must you underestimate yourself but with full strength, confidence and support network, they will carry you through any tasks or situations.

Now that I know that these assumptions are inherent in us, I will learn to pick up myself when I make mistakes. I will love my life and never let anything or anyone put me down. Failure is the stepping stone to my success in life and there is nothing to be sad or ashamed about because the failure and success is my personal journey.

As for my future career plans, my passion is in the aviation industry. I would like to think that someday I will be working for a large airlines company and using my writing skills to share to the world beautiful stories from the top of the world!

As for my future career plans, my passion is in the aviation industry. I would like to think that someday I will be working for a large airlines company and using my writing skills to share to the world beautiful stories from the top of the world!



  1. verughese mathew · January 3, 2015

    Improving. Continue to read more and more to widen your perspectives. Good luck


  2. lizchoon · January 5, 2015

    Another interesting article, enjoyed every line. Waiting for more!


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