A Life lesson from experience: Failures happen so that you can be successful

My family in India has a “significant” armed forces background, with 1 in 3 men serving one of the branches of Indian armed forces as officers, since British era. This means that there are kids who grow up with one goal-goal of becoming an officer in the Indian armed forces.

Few minutes ago, I talked to one of my nephews who was depressed. He failed his interview, known as SSB interview, for India’s National Defense Academy . When my cousin called me this evening requesting me to talk to her son to console him…it was like a flashback.

I was in a similar position 20 years ago. But there was a difference in my situation…a difference that made it more painful. I passed the SSB. There was nothing standing between me and my dream of becoming an officer in the Indian armed forces but the formality of a medical exam. I was excited !

But the medical exam was a major surprise…I had Red Green Color blindness. Before that day, I had never even heard about this condition, forget getting tested for it. I was devastated. For me, my life and career had ended. I could no longer pursue my dream career. But with the help of family, I jumped back into life and overall, life and career turned out to be ok.

The moral of the story is that if you keep pushing, you will find something that you will figure out that you like much more than what you originally planned to do and will maybe have a better career.

Now when I think about it, I would have been a mediocre officer at the most, since I am a sensitive person and have too much Empathy factor – Not very useful traits when leading a group of soldiers in a battlefield. Imagine an officer having a meltdown seeing his soldiers getting shot in a battle 🙂

Keep pushing…good things are just around the corner!!!



Footnote: Even though the condition uses the term “blindness” it is actually a deficiency and the intensity varies from one person to another. So all individuals who have this condition can see Red and Green, but a lighter shade. For me, the challenge is when Red and Green colors are intermingled in a picture etc. Otherwise, it does not impact my day to day life. Weird thing though is that no one else in my family has tested positive for this condition in last one century. My mother jokes that my brain has always been wired differently 🙂

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