I love to fail

So it’s been more than a month since Spring Break passed, and with planIt, we were expecting that many TCU students will travel using the website and get started with creating trips online.

Guess what?

That didn’t happen.

We put out great social media content for over a month, used yard signs for advertising throughout the campus, and sent out emails to signed up members. Not one person gave a single shit about it.

Clearly, we’re doing something wrong. But what is it?

After thinking (too much) about it, this is what I came up with:

First, we aren’t getting the message across clearly. People are still doubtful on what is it and how it works.

Second, let’s say you go somewhere on spring break, so you need to return back too, and that’s highly unlikely to happen since the number of users is so limited on the website as of now.

In short, we failed. But not really.

I’ll be the first one to admit, it sucks. It sucks big time when you work your ass off on something that you HOPE people are going to use and they literally say, “Screw you.” But it’s okay. Not the end of the world.

This is just a micro-failure. It is recoverable. Just one of the few micro-battles that we lost. But what’s important is that we tried it.

Personally, I love to fail. Or at least trying to fail. There’s this struggle you have to go through when you’re trying something new, and chances are, 99.99% of the times you’re going to fail. And I love that struggle. That struggle alone has taught me most of what I’ve known about anyone or anything. When you’re in that struggle phase, you deal with things you never expected to face. So you throw yourself in this unknown territory where nothing is black or white but all gray and unclear. And there you take the most practical approach available to humankind.

Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat.

People ask me how I’m good at writing being a non-writing major, or how do we win business competitions with having zero background in it. Here’s a fun fact: for my first 100 posts or so, no one gave a shit about this blog. I’d post, and one or two random people bored on the internet would read it and not even say anything about it. At that time, it looked like I failed, but what that really was just micro-failing in order to get better at writing and learning how to use different platforms to reach out to more people. Same with business competitions, or any other aspect that I’ve spent time on.

Nothing valuable comes fast.

It takes time to build something out of nothing. Whether you’re trying to make your app work, or learning how to swim, or being great at basketball, it’s not going to happen overnight. All those micro-failures will one day result in your macro-win. You just have to know where you want to be and do the dirty work to get there.

With planIt, we want to create a social transportation network, where people utilize empty seats in their cars to make traveling easier for people looking for cheap alternative to get somewhere. This comes with a lot of dirty work to be done. And a whole lot more micro-failures. But that’s fine. If not in the first round, we will win the game in second, or the last round, but we’ll keep on trying.

Even if we lose the game, it’ll definitely make one hell of a story.

Christmas Eve Miracles

Two things. Two simple things that changed the whole day for me.

There are some things that deeply affect you and force you to think what are you even doing . Then there are other things that make you realize what you should focus on rather than what you have been doing till now. Now, combine both these and feel the outcome. Some powerful stuff, right? 

That’s what my Christmas eve was about. 

First significant thing about the day was the news of Clay York, a fellow student. He died. Yes, just like that, in his early twenties. That’s it. Game over for that guy. I was surprised and shocked when I first read that. Though I didn’t know him that well, and I’ve only been with him more than a couple of times, we had our moments. That alone tells how he affected everyone around him and what kind of person he was. I still remember both of us cheering together for our Basketball team. But what can you do now, life goes on. 

Trust me, life is short. I don;t know how he dies, but he’s gone. He left me thinking. What am I doing by just sleeping and eating everyday and wasting the short period of time I have? That was really an eye-opener. Maybe tomorrow is THE day. Who knows? Everything will just remain in the wishlists. I don’t know about you all but for me, it’s too depressing and sad.

As I was overcoming my shock, my friend and I realized it’s Christmas eve and we are here with nothing to do at all. Best Christmas ever! Nevertheless, I called up a friend and went to meet him. Again, trust me, you never know what’s gonna happen to you if you take an initiative. Forrest Gump’s momma was right, life is full of surprises! We ended up playing guitar, singing songs, looking at some awesome photographs and singing “Happy Birthday” in Vietnamese for his girlfriend. I didn’t expect any of this to happen but it was the best hour of my Christmas eve. Yeah, miracles do happen on Christmas. To add a cherry on top, my friend helped me to realize what to focus on rather than just sitting around waiting for the day. Also, he gave us a Christmas tree. yeah I know I have awesome friends!

Anyways, Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas

Yes, I’ll be here

It’s really hard to convince people to do anything for free. They just won’t do it! Specially if they have to do that thing for continuous 2 hours. But that really apply to those people who are too much in their routine. Being a new animal in this jungle, I decided to do something for free just to meet other animals. A tutoring program which helps to understand mostly all the subjects they are currently learning in their classes. So I went there at the orientation and got a name tag which I threw right away. After the orientation was over, I was completely sure that this thing isn’t gonna work. But my mother’s also a teacher and I inherited the teaching thing from her I guess. So I signed up for 4 Wednesdays with 2 hours each week.

After the first class, I was convinced that yes, it’s really worth it! The satisfaction that you get when you help someone to get their way out from a calculus problem or to help them understand why do things move around them is really one of the most amazing feeling you can have. And not just teaching, I get to know the High School culture here, the things they talk about, their outlook, their perspectives, pretty much everything. But it got as good as it can yesterday when it was my last day of volunteering.

Teaching around 3 subjects, I became the most popular among kids, as well as the tutors, as our program director told me! We all finished off pretty early and whenever we finished off, I would have just leave the place if it was some any other day. But yesterday wasn’t any other day. I stayed there and really got to know the fellow students who were tutoring. They all had their reason. One was there to get humanities credits. 2 of them were there because of community service thing. And the last girl was there because she got into some kind of trouble, so it was necessary for her. Of course she didn’t tell me what trouble she got into! But I kinda guessed it. 😀

We shared our cultures. Wait. I guess, the correct thing to say will be, they shared my culture! Being from India, I was the most cultural person they had ever met. Every Indian is like that! One girl was so much into the Hinduism that she said she felt really connected when she went to a temple once! And now she believes she’s a Hindu by belief. Well, that’s interesting! The last hour went away like a minute with all the chit-chat from childhood t.v. shows to superhero movies and chick-flicks.

Everyone will be there next week also. Actually, next Wednesday is the last day of this program. But yesterday was my last day. As our director came in to make us aware that it’s actually time to go, we stood up from our chairs against our wishes. I grabbed another chocolate, yes, it was free for us! As I stepped out of the door to leave, I saw hands waving inside and somebody saying something that I couldn’t catch because of the wind blowing outside. So I went in, and they all, including our director said, “You’re coming next week, right?” And all I could manage was “Yes, I’ll be here.”