Today is a day of celebration for Candles Online. This post will be the 700th post of Candles Online. It’s truly a milestone and the timing is absolutely appropriate for the occasion with a concluding day for the topic ‘Celebrating Failure‘.  

If I look back, I find myself sad and sorrowful two years back when Candles Online was not in the picture. The printed format failed to stay afloat. All my dreams had sunk in the deep sea. But now… we have been inspiring many around the globe, over 130 countries approximately. Candles Online had faced failures a lot of times yet it has become famous among many. It is still growing day after day because of some very committed people along with me and also because of God’s grace. 

I am going to let you watch an incredible video of 25 very famous world personalities who had failed in their lives or were considered failures by people initially, yet became world famous personalities afterwards. 

Be encouraged and never quit…

Stay blessed!


Failure is something which literally jeopardizes our normal functioning. But there’s a question which popped up in my mind – “What really causes failure?”

And the answer that came to my mind was – ENTANGLEMENTS. But again a question arose in my mind – “Then what are those entanglements that become the causes of our failure?” I found them as under:


A girl who is not fair or doesn’t have a good figure can’t be considered a failure in life though some do. A boy who studied hard but came second in the class can’t be considered a failure. But some parents do feel that way. A person who doesn’t have a gift of singing can’t be considered as a failure just because he/she could not sing well in the competition. We witness so many reality shows where the participants feel that way and go back weeping as if they lost life’s battle completely.

Ms. Usha Uthup, a very popular Bollywood singer was invited to one of the reality shows. She has a very manly voice from the very beginning. I will never forget what she said about her weakness that day.  She said, “I don’t have sweet female tonal quality because of my vocal chord. But I had never grumbled about what I can’t or don’t have. Instead, I let my weakness be my strength. And I am sure there’s nobody in Bollywood who can sing like me now.” She laughed about it and the audience gave her a standing ovation for her mindset.

When I think about myself I sometime wonder. Where was I as a kid and a teen… grumbling for being sickly and unable to do anything…??? And where I am now… who doesn’t even bother as to what I can’t do but concentrates on what I can. There was only a change of mindset… really nothing else.

Our negative mindset becomes an entanglement on our feet which never allows us to move forward in the path of success. And we end up a failure.


Few scripture portions to elaborate this point:

  • A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road,
        a fierce lion roaming the streets!”
  • The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
        because his hands refuse to work.
  • As a door turns on its hinges,
        so a sluggard turns on his bed.
  • Diligent hands will rule,
        but laziness ends in forced labor.
  • A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
        but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

Do I really have to explain them? 😉 They are very loud, harsh and clear about a person who is lazy – a sluggard. 

I have always struggled with my habit of procrastination. Sometimes, I wonder why I keep things for later and rush at the last moment. I am learning. I will definitely overcome that attitude of mine. Some people fail because of this particular entanglement.


I have seen people who earn money and are satisfied with that. They could have enough for themselves, for their family, for their children’s education etc. and they are happy with that. They are the persons who don’t know that they have failed in achieving something very vital in life. Either they over work, counting themselves in the rat race of earning more and more or they are happy with whatever little they earn without any objective, vision or passion. 

Can’t I be happy with what I am doing, earning and just live my life instead of writing, being instrumental in floating Candles Online etc., managing it by thinking and discussing?

Somehow, I feel people are distracted from their goal and purpose as humans, supreme created beings. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Thus, distractions also lead to failures as one of the very dangerous entanglements.

Friends! Do you want not to be a failure? Then get yourself released from these THREE major entanglements that cause failure: Negative Mindset, Laziness and Distractions.

Stay Blessed!   


The board exam results have come out. The parents whose kids have scored 85, 90, 95 % are celebrating. But have you seen the parents of a child who failed in a subject celebrating? Right now either the child is being berated for being good for nothing or else they are in depth of sorrow and worry about the future of their child.

Or take the case of the executive who worked very hard for a promotion. But when the actual letters came he was bypassed for someone less deserving. The executive along with his entire family went through​ a very bitter phase.

These are big  moments of life, it’s understandable to feel sad dejected and bitter. But for a person like me it’s very difficult to accept even small failures. I spent the whole afternoon arranging for ingredients of a cake and I sieved and measured and mixed and blended and baked. But the end result was an inedible lump rather than a beautiful cake. I was heart broken and spent the entire evening doubting all my capabilities as a homemaker or mother or wife etc etc. (Yes I do tend to overreact sometimes).

So when I first heard about the topic of the week “celebrating failures” I thought I really don’t know how to celebrate failures. I mean how can someone celebrate a failure when we have spent so much time and energy to actually achieve the opposite?

Here is what I understand about this concept. After a reasonable phase of dejection on failing we should first learn to accept our failure and try to look for causes. There are times when there is no visible reasons. Still accept the failure. Learn from it and step over it and move ahead. That I guess is the meaning of celebrating failures. Each failure also does a value add to our character​. It shapes our life and who we are. Failure is also a phase it will pass. It has given you an experience in life. It has made you stronger. So let’s take it in our stride and strive towards our goals again .

If the sun has set today, it will surely rise tomorrow. Till then let’s enjoy the beauty of the moon.

Celebrating could be as big as throwing a party and including the whole world around you. Or just treating yourself alone and resolving to do better the next time. Have you ever played a video game like car racing etc. No matter at what position you finish in the race there is always a reset button on the console. As soon as you press that button your car is back on the starting line ready to race again. Celebrating failure is that reset button in your life.

As for me I celebrated my cake debacle by ordering dinner from outside that day.


If you ever fail . . .

No wait, that’s not the correct statement to begin with!

In life it’s not about ‘if you fail’, but about ‘when you fail’. Failure is an inevitable part of life. We all encounter failure at different stages of our lives – be it a failure in academics at school or college level, failure in securing a job of one’s choice, failure in marrying a beloved, failure in sustaining a marriage, failure in begetting children, failure in giving happiness to others, failure in exercising self-control over our passions and temptations, and on go the variations.

Be prepared

Don’t be surprised when failure greets you unawares. The best of your preparation may end up in a failure. Hence, being prepared for outcomes of all sorts minimizes the jerks given by failures.

Avoid negative people

Avoid the company of people who point out to your failure time and again and make you feel that you are worth nothing. Negative people breed negativity. Hence, quit their company.

Don’t closet yourself

Don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-pity. Don’t shut yourself in a room for long, shedding endless tears. After a brief mourning period, gather yourself and mingle with like-minded understanding people. Sometime back I met up with a friend to cheer her up as she was going through a gloomy phase having not cleared an exam (which I myself had not cleared too) after a lot of hard work. Sensing that she needed to venture out from her room, I suggested that we go out to have dinner. We went to an eatery not far from where we were staying. As we placed the order for food, I noticed that there was a big group, around 10-12, sitting in front of us. From there conversation, I gathered that all of them had not cleared the same exam and wanted to wind up the episode in an upbeat manner before gearing up for the next phase!

Forge positive relationships

Be in the presence of people who would lift you up and show you the silver lining beneath the dark thundering clouds. Encouragement and motivation work wonders in boosting up the morale when you feel like giving up.

Gear up for what is to come next

It is natural to feel dejected and sink into sadness (or depression in extreme cases) when you fail. But, that robs away the time to prepare for what is to come next. So, do not allow yourself to brood over your failures for long. Gird yourself for what is to come next.

Speaking from personal experience (and many of you would agree to it too), the day after experiencing the failure generally hits the hardest. When you open your eyes the next morning after an almost sleepless night and come face to face with reality, everything seems blank and there arises a sinking feeling within. This is exactly when you need to pick up the reins and brace yourself for the next phase.

Failure may be a one day occurrence that hits hard (a relationship break up/an academic failure/losing in a game) or a phase that lingers on for quite some time (financial debt/deteriorating marriage). And, not many have the ability to bounce back and be in high spirits immediately. We have grown up with the famous saying – ‘Failure is the stepping stone to success.’ But, rarely does this saying give an instant kick when the sky is falling apart over us.

I really like the concept of ‘Failing forward’ given by America’s leadership expert John C. Maxwell who has penned a book by the same title too. Failing Forward is the belief that dealing with failure intelligently will be the driver to improve further on in life. So, don’t let failure squeeze the life out of you. Give yourself a pat on the back, assess the loopholes and look ahead to mend them. There is always light at the end of a tunnel!

When you fail, remember you are not alone.

When you fail, remember you tried.

When you fail, remember this is not the end of the road.

When you fail, remember God is still in control.

Knowing that God is in control has helped me to bounce back in the face of failures and rejoice with the understanding that the failure was for a purpose and is not meant to be the end of the road.


“Dare to Dream”

“Failures are stepping stones to success”

We are taught these day and night since our school days. We are made to memorize the famous quotes of some learned humans. But what happens when it is the time to actually draw inspiration from these quotes and make them breathing oxygen for you? What happens when you really want to be one of those learned human? What really happens when you consider Failures a stepping stone to Success?

The reality of life hits you right on your face. Failures are so bad that it seems impossible to rise again. Failures make you lose your confidence to an extent that there is nothing left inside you to start all over again. But still you believe that “Failures are stepping stones to success” and you wonder, how many more “stepping stones”. It becomes difficult to carry on, yet deep inside your heart you believe these quotes that you mugged up at school.

And then the worst happens, people who love you and care for you worry about you a little too much. They fear the failure more than you do. And so just when you begin to take a step ahead after recovering from the failure, they pull you down with a force that is impossible to conquer. No, not because they don’t want you to succeed but because they know it will break them to see you go through another stepping stone and they aren’t ready for it.

How do you deal with this? What do you do to make them believe in your passion? They will not believe because they blinded by their worry for you. The same people, who once told you to be courageous when you were young, now want you to give up. Do you give up your passion or do you give up the relationship of your loved ones?

I have been through such dilemmas and I am going through one now. I would like to believe that beyond a point more you are pulled back into negativity, higher you bounce back in positivity. More you are pulled back in your failure, higher you will raise in your success. I wish this is true.

I believe in the prayers. I believe that it all works out for good and I want to tell my readers that there is always a light beyond those dark days of failure. Believe in Him and yourself, the reason you are being pulled into a failure is to make sure that you are really passionate about what you say you are.

All the best! Keep dreaming and keep failing – beyond those dark failures lies the real taste of success and that is something I would love to believe.


“I feel so lost Aastha. I did work hard, so many late nights, many iterations of refinement, many tries, I see no success. This is my dream to be able to make this venture work, trust me, I gave all that I could. I don’t know what I can do differently to make this work. The final option for me is to quit my job and fully concentrate on my venture, but that would push me into complete crisis in terms of finances. What do I do?“, this is what he said holding my hand, with tears in his eyes

My friend is quite matured, is very well aware of the risks he was taking. He was prepared for the struggle that’s gonna last long and yet, he wanted to do. I consoled him for then since it was already late in the evening, but promised to meet him the next day. I opened up my laptop, reviewed all his work for the past one year, took my notes, came up with some ideas, but most importantly, I see that he is upset, very much with himself, that required to be treated before anything else.  

What is a failure ???

I am not asking about failures that lead to tremendous successes .. Plain, simple failure , what is it ?

Being unable to achieve ‘something’ that we wanted is failure, it can be big or small. There is a lot of stigma that we have put around failure, which is causing us not to see the good it has brought. Failure is a milestone, it tells us what we did right, what we could have done differently and most importantly what can go wrong. Our assumptions are often invalidated during turbulent times, we are not prepared and hence we do fail. If you think about it, failure is just feedback; it’s simply showing you what’s not working so you can find out what will work.

Failure isn’t bad, then why do we feel so devastated, lost and depressed when we fail ? Sometimes because it has implications on the stability of our life, career or finances, hence it inadvertently makes us feel bad. But many times, the effect is not so huge. Even In such situations where the impact is less, we tend to feel sad, where in being more happy would make us feel better.

When I was going through a training, I got to know that there are companies that celebrate failures, they throw parties and give away awards for those who failed. I was not very surprised by the concept itself because, even at our homes, irrespective of how good or not so good the kids perform in education or sport they are given some goodies. So we are actually not taught failure is bad or we shall never fail, however we inferred this understanding from the how the world perceives failure. I asked myself, “what do I do when I fail ?” Surprisingly, nothing. 

Oh, that’s not a good sign. I thought of celebrating failures. I will treat myself with the most exotic flavor of ice-cream. As I started doing this often I realized, I started liking the phase of failure, it relieves me off being upset faster and let’s me think more clearly.

We made the conscious decision of what we chose and due to uncontrollable factors which caused the failure. There is always a second chance, a better thought, a different way of looking at things. Even when we think differently, we may not succeed, we may end up failing many times, but every time we fail we are only getting better at what we are doing , more wiser and are a step closer to success. So, let’s celebrate our small success, that’s the better way of calling it, isn’t it ?


We all celebrate success. We throw a party, call up friends and family or go out for dinner or a date, or if we’re alone, we let our hair down and unwind with a drink or do something we have been wanting to do, that helps us relax. Some pious folks pray for their achievements and do poojas or make an offering to their Gods. While some lucky ones celebrate by going out on a vacation!

Celebrating success is a natural outcome of our happiness and achievement. It’s a way of rewarding ourselves for our hard work.  But what about celebrating failures though? Do we ever give a thought to that?

‘Why?’, you ask. ‘What’s to celebrate in failures?’

Good question! I’ll ask you a question in return, “What does failure teach us?”

It teaches us that we need to do better. It teaches us patience, humility. It teaches us the value of hard work and how to wait for the right opportunity. But most importantly, it teaches us not to give up!

With so many good lessons to teach us, how can failure be bad?

You may counter by pointing out that it feels bad when we fail. Sometimes the failure is a huge setback to our attempts. Yes, it does feel bad, specially if it’s happened to you more than once for the same thing. Most of us take failure very seriously. We become depressed, enraged, desolate, hopeless and withdraw into ourselves. It’s normal to feel that way when we fail.

But say, if you were to enjoy your failure, would it do you any harm? Say if you couldn’t pass an important test that you were preparing for, would it be so bad if, after failing, you throw away your sour mood and declare, ‘Oh, so what?! I’ll try again. Harder!’ And then you proceed to call out your friends for dinner, and your friends tell you the same thing, ‘You’ll do better next time”. And you will! Because you have already made up your mind to try harder again. That serves as positive reinforcement for your brain, the party and your own will to try again. It sends your brain the signal that you do not take defeat as a full stop to your attempts.

Positive reinforcement is a Psychology term that roughly means being awarded for a certain kind of behavior. We frequently use this in everyday life to motivate ourselves. Even organisations have long been using this to motivate their employees to aim higher and get better results. An example is how you tell yourself while slogging for your exams, “Just this one week and then I’ll have all the time in the world”, or how a dog is trained by giving it a treat for good behavior. The benefit of positive reinforcement is that we condition ourselves to perform better in order to get that reward, till it becomes our habit to perform better.

This is what celebrating failure does to you. When your brain looks at failure as a reason to celebrate, it conditions itself to not give in to depressing thoughts and instead looks for that rewarding incident/thing that reinforces its will to strive harder, while enjoying the process of trying again.

Celebrating failure need not come only in the form of a reward or a celebration. You could choose the way you want to celebrate differently than the usual connotations of ‘celebrating’. You could meditate, or try a new activity, or try another way of achieving the same goal. You could tell yourself, ‘Regardless of whether I succeed or fail in this attempt, I will do a certain thing to enjoy myself’. Remember, enjoying yourself while you strive to attain something is as important as making the effort itself. Otherwise the task will seem tedious, and you will be inclined to fail more because of mental tiredness than actual lack of capability.

The aim of celebrating failure is NOT the celebration itself;

It is to overcome the depression of failure and the fear of failing again. 

Do the following when you feel you’re becoming depressed over your failure – 

  1. Stop blaming yourself.
  2. Think of things to calm yourself down, like meditation, or a movie you like, or a hangout you like to go to.
  3. Surround yourself with people who support you; don’t drive them away.
  4. Look inwards and identify the reasons why you failed.
  5. After you have identified the causes, decide to either avoid those causes the next time, or try harder to overcome them, or plan another route.
  6. Now go ahead, have a blast. Chances are, by the time you come to this step, you will have already overcome your depression.

Our failures are our means to be a better person. They teach us to strive harder, be smarter about our choices and they teach us that success is not an easily earned thing. Think of all those achievers in history who have had successful lives – M.S. Dhoni, Rafael Nadal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Aishwarya Rai, Gita Phogat... Do you think they never faced failures, flops, being shunned by someone, being called ‘inadequate’? But they didn’t stop at their failures. They treated them as lessons and went on to the next project they had. They did not dwell on their past and their mistakes. If they had given up and succumbed to depression, we wouldn’t know their names today.

If you are still not convinced why celebrating failure is better than mourning them, click on this link and watch this inspirational video by Elizabeth Gilbert, the Author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love‘, who talks about how she overcame the fear of writing a book that wouldn’t match up with the success of Eat, Pray, Love, while also discussing how she overcame recurring failures to become a successful writer. I love it when she says, “I love writing more than I hate failing at writing”. That is why she couldn’t give up on writing in spite of her failures, because writing was ‘home’ for her. That is real passion for your work!

Remember, the most difficult part of overcoming failure is the attempt to overcome it. Celebrating it helps in making it easier for you to overcome that fear.

Let not failure defeat you.

Let it be a stepping stone to your next success.

I’ll leave you with the words of the great leader Winston Churchill,


Success consists of going from failure to failure, without loss of enthusiasm.


Pradita Kapahi