SHAHRUKH KHAN’s speech at Yale: If you aren’t scared of failing, you are unlikely to succeed


I believe the true path to success is through the fear of failure. If you aren’t scared enough of failing, you are unlikely to succeed. It’s not pleasant to fail; it’s tough. All of us experience it. You will too, if you haven’t already. Use it to succeed.

Here’s how I have done so:

• Firstly, it’s not the absence of failure that makes you a success. It is your response to failure that actually helps to buffer the reverses that you experience. I personally have one response to failure – pragmatism, a recognition and belief that if one approach does not work, then the other will or might.

• Failure also gives me an incentive to greater exertion, harder work, which invariably leads to later success in most cases.

• Repeated failure has taught me to stop pretending I am someone else. It’s given me the clarity to stick to the things that really matter to me instead of distracting me from my core.

• Failure also gets you to find who your real friends are. The true strength of your relationships only gets tested in the face of strong adversity.

• Overcoming some of my failures has made me discover that I have a strong will and more discipline than I suspected. It has helped me have confidence in my ability to survive.

• Failure is an amazing teacher. There is a well-known story of a bank president who was asked the secret of his success. “Right decisions,” he replied. “How do you get to know how to make right decisions?” came the follow-up question. “Experience,” was the answer. “Well, how do you get experience?” asked his interrogator. “Wrong decisions,” he replied.

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