In High School I became extremely competitive in achieving top grades. In one particular semester I worked so hard that I did not expect to come any lower than second in the class. What do you think happened? I ended up failing in English, a subject that I dreaded --- I simply could not make any sense of it. A black cloud of depression hung over me and for a number of nights that followed, I found it difficult to sleep. Certain of my classmates even took pleasure in my failure. What had occurred had been something totally unexpected. I became gloomy and sad for the next few days. A teacher noticed the state I was in and tried his best to encourage me and give me comfort
Whenever this time of life comes back to me I am astonished at how gravely it affected me. The depression into which I fell did not help in the least, and it had no effect whatsoever in changing my failing grade into a passing one.
What I want to say to you is this: Do not think that if you become depressed or downcast because of failure, you will suddenly achieve success. It won't happen. The only effect that such gloom can have upon you is to make your failure more complete.
When I had completed my masters thesis I was hoping to get an 'A' grade. I thought my work was deserving of an 'A' but in the end I only got a 'B' I overreacted when this happened and I became extremely agitated over my grade. A sensible friend of mine said to me, "Suppose, that for one reason or another, you had never completed your masters degree. What would you have done? Furthermore, what difference does it really make whether you get an 'A' or a 'B': you still have a Masters degree." What he said was obviously true and I returned to my senses. I now realize that the best way of dealing with similar situations is to be prepared in advance for the worst possible results.
I took away a good lesson from this experience. When the time came to submit my doctoral thesis, the faculty delayed the date of submission for a long time. My thesis was already finished and well prepared. Because I was ready for anything, their delaying me did not have a great effect on me.
Whoever is mentally prepared for bankruptcy in his business will not worry over a partial loss.