A mythological bird that fascinates us is the PHOENIX; a bird that is as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold feathers. It is said to rise from the ashes of its predecessor and then lives for the next 500 years.

Everybody is familiar with the idea of Phoenix symbolism It symbolizes rebirth and eternity and is also representative of hope. Phoenix also denotes ability to face adversities and to come out from them stronger. Some very famous people displayed phoenix like characteristics in their lives.

Actor Amitabh Bachchan is known for his tall presence on Indian celluloid screens. If we call him a master of comebacks, it won’t be wrong. He is known for his baritone voice but fact is that his voice was once rejected by the All India Radio. He gave 12-13 successive flop movies before his film Zanzeer became a hit. Even in his late career, he struggled financially and once seemed to have become irrelevant in films. In year 2000 he was diagnosed with Hepatitis and liver cirrhosis and since then he has been living with only 25% of a normal liver. But who can see through these hardships and pains when you see Amitabh Bachchan in those TV commercials and KBC shows ? Like a Phoenix he rose from the ashes, overcame all adversities and persevered and even today his larger than life presence mesmerizes one and all.

Jack Ma of Chinese Ecommerce Giant, “Alibaba” was worth 29 billion dollars a few years ago. He grew up poor, failed his University-entrance exam twice, and was rejected from dozens of jobs. Famously, he was the only one rejected out of 24 applicants for a job with KFC in China. He tried to study business and, in the process, got rejected by Haward Business School 10 times. But then he built a company so huge that it’s IPO of $150 billion was the largest for a US listed company at that point of time and he became the richest in China.

Failure is fundamental to our growth. If we can learn from what went wrong and why, we know what to avoid or alter in the future to avoid a repeat. Walt Disney, the famous founder of Disney World was once fired from a newspaper and was told that he lacked creativity. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple when he was in his 30s and he re-joined it only as a result of his new company getting acquired by Apple and then he went on to change the course for this company and made it a premium name worldwide.

Life goes in circles. Sometimes we are at peak and then sometimes we face pitfalls. How a person faces adversities makes the true difference. It is this thing which decides whether one succumbs against odds or rises as a phoenix.

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” – Nelson Mandela

 By TM Alok Mishra