Book Review #45: The Failure Project

Name: The Failure Project-The Story of Man’s Greatest Fear
Author: Anup Kochhar
No. of Pages: 194
Genre: Inspirational
Publisher: Body & Soul Books (An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 299/-
Published in: 2016

How did I get it? From the publisher.

The blurb of the book says:
Failure destroys lives. It damages confidence and crushes the spirit. Throughout our lives we endeavour to manage our thoughts, actions and results so as not to be branded as failures. However, despite our best intentions, life does have a way of throwing curve balls and surprising us. Things do not always go the way we planned or wished for. Failure happens. And it will continue to happen.

For most people failure is akin to a dreaded disease that must be prevented at any cost. Certainly it can never be admitted to. Failure is like fire – it has the power to singe or destroy completely. Few of us remember that failure can also be harnessed creatively. All that it requires is a different perspective.

What do we know of failure? More importantly, how much do we know about it? The first step to overcoming our inherent fear of failure is to know the enemy – inside and out. This amazing, comprehensive and compassionate book helps us understand the anatomy, psychology and management of failure – the greatest, and often the most secret, fear of Man. 

From medical school aspirant to finance has certainly been a hell of a journey, with some spectacular failures. Each milestone provided me with insights into why we fail, how we fail, and the need to get up, learn and move on. It has involved direct encounters with more failures than successes. I have been mauled I must admit, and every encounter left its mark. Looking back, I feel those encounters were necessary. Certainly no one sets out to fail, but failures do happen. Every failure was a lesson that came in handy in the next venture. Every one of them happened for a reason.’ Anup can be reached

Everyone wants to be successful, in every sphere of life. Since childhood, we are taught that we have to come first. We are rebuked when we score lesser marks, when we don’t get prizes in competition, when we don’t want to participate in sports, and so on. The foundation of fear of failing is laid in our childhood itself. Then there are related aspects as to why such a foundation is laid, societal expectations, legacy, expectations, notions of happiness, etc.

The book is an attempt to state that it is okay to fail, that there are positive effects of failure on the human psyche. The fact that some of man’s greatest discoveries and inventions were founded on failure testify this.

The book is divided into seven parts:
  1. Failure Hurts–Talks about how it hurts and feels when one fails
  2. The First Encounter–Examinations are probably our first encounter with failure. This part talks about how the changing education sector and the criteria of success is effecting the concept of failure.
  3. The Failure Factor–Failure and success are the two essential sides of the same coin and go hand in hand.
  4. The Anatomy of Failure–Talks about the different aspects of failure, what it is all about.
  5. The Psychology of Failure–Why succeeding is so important to us, why do we fear to fail.
  6. Teach Failure-The Need to Fail–Children should be taught early in life that it is okay to fail, that failing doe not mean that we are good for nothing. Small doses of failure can teach us life lessons and values.
  7. Managing Failure–How we should manage failure; instead of being bogged down, how we can use it to our advantage.
I really liked the book. I feel it is wonderful book for young people, including students and professionals.It can guide parents as well as to how to teach their wards about failure and make them successful human beings.

This book is also thought-provoking and makes us question our education system as well as the value system of our society. Are the standards and criteria that we have set for success or failure really correct? Is our educational model really practical and does it prepare our kids to face life?

Only one thing about this book disappointed me and that is the way it has been presented. I feel the book and its contents could have been presented in a far better and structured manner.
I give “The Failure Project3.5 stars on a scale of 5.


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