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Wanna succeed? You better fail first!
February 11, 2005
obody wants to fail in life.
But that is what Billi Lim, the world's first 'failure guru', would advise you to do.
Lim's unique philosophy has a different focus from the so-called 'success gurus':
It focuses on failure as a means to achieve success.
"There are 1,400 books on How to Succeed in the US Congressional library. And not a single one on How to Fail. Seminars on success never prepare anyone for failure," says Lim.
The Malaysian's bestselling book, Dare To Fail, was released in 1996 and sold close to half a million copies worldwide.
Recently released in India, the ninth edition of the book has already been picked up by Amway Corporation for use in its network marketing campaigns here.
"Failure is necessary to achieve success and maintain it. Otherwise, there is a danger of becoming arrogant or becoming afraid of losing," says Lim.
Success is the journey towards the goal
Lim even has problems accepting the dictionary meaning of 'success'.
"Success is not the goal, but the journey towards the goal. A monk may not have material wealth, but does that mean he can't be successful?" asks Lim.
His mascot is the bounce-back doll. Just as the doll is knocked down to the ground and rebounds, Lim believes only a failed person has what it takes to achieve success.
"In the Indian context, sometimes, failure also helps you know who your true friends are. People who stood by [Congress Party President] Sonia Gandhi when nobody expected the Congress to upstage the National Democratic Alliance, are her true friends," says Lim.
When he is not conducting seminars on failure, Lim is busy trying other ways to get his message across to people around the world.
He built what has been certified by the Malaysian Book of Records as the tallest book tower.
Modelled after the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, the 12-metre tower is a great way to attract attention.
Lim has plans to create one such tower in India, too. "I would love to build one at the Book Fair in India and one at the Frankfurt Book Fair," he says.
Failure is success delayed
The motivational speaker emphathises with victims of the tsunami in India, but doesn't mince words talking about the survivors of the disaster.
"People should keep the hopes and dreams of the departed souls alive. They are now supposed to carry on the mission. They must be resilient," says Lim.
Lim knows what he is talking about. Born into a poor family with 14 members, Lim endured many hardships and became a sort of mascot for failure -- failing in school, love, politics and business.
"Long ago, I had been on the verge of suicide. Then I realised that everything has a said purpose. Ultimately, there is no such thing as failure. Failure is only success delayed," Lim adds.
He may not boast magical powers, but Lim claims nothing is impossible.
"Give me three hours, and I can transform a person bent on committing suicide to one with a positive attitude."
Lim is fascinated by his visit to India but feels much more has to be done to make tourists feel at home. "They need to have food outlets offering dishes native to the country that the tourist is coming from."