Degree programs I did not get into

1995: after completing my MS in Information Systems (IS) in France, I applied to many Ph.D. programs in IS at many top US and European universities but got accepted in none

1996-1997: I applied to many MBA programs at top US Business Schools but got systematically rejected by all of them (I finally got accepted at Yale SOM in 1998).

Biggest Mistakes Made

1998  Joining Yale School of Management without proper financial planning to secure funding for my two-year MBA program

2008  Accepting the Executive Director position at Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge (UK) without realizing I lacked the fund-raising skills required to secure the Centre’s long-term financial viability

Near-death experiences (physical and/or emotional traumas)

1993: I nearly drowned in a swimming pool during my compulsory military service in France (I had never learned to swim). What I remember vividly—and it still troubles me today—is this: as I hit the bottom of the deep swimming pool and began losing my consciousness I didn’t struggle at all, I just “surrendered” to the circumstances: it’s as if I wanted to die…

1999: At Yale School of Management I was financially, emotionally and physically bankrupt. I felt like my soul was dying. I am still recovering from that emotional trauma—although in hindsight I realize that NOT completing my MBA program at Yale has been God’s greatest gift to me because it enabled me to define who I really am.

2006: I experienced Auto Immune Syndrome-like symptoms, causing serious physical malfunction and great anxiety. Western doctors couldn’t identify the root cause of the ailment. I was able to recover physically/emotionally/spiritually thanks to Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine), Yoga, and Buddhist meditation, all of which I continue to practice till now.

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Beyond every major success, you’ll find countless missed attempts, oversights and mistakes. What matters most, is how YOU choose to respond to it!

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“The only time you mustn’t fail is the last time you try.” ~Charles F. Kettering
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard
“Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” ~John Dewey
“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is a step forward.” ~Thomas A. Edison
“In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.” ~Anthony D’Angelo
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ~Albert Einstein
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~Thomas A. Edison
“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure… it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” ~Robert Schuller
“The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” ~Napoleon Hill
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~Winston Churchill
“You always pass failure on your way to success.” ~Mickey Rooney
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” ~Henry Ford
“I failed my way to success.” ~Thomas Edison
“The only real failure in life is one not learned from.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
“There are two kinds of people in this world: those who want to get things done, and those who don’t want to make mistakes.” ~John Maxwell
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~Thomas Edison
“My reputation grows with every failure.” ~George Bernard Shaw
~“The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make, for the more new things he will try.” ~Peter Drucker
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ~Michael Jordan
“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” ~Abraham Lincoln
“Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.” ~Anonymous
“You can’t have any successes unless you can accept failure.” ~George Cukor