(This is the concluding part of the article titled Failure is the Greatest Teacher published on Friday, April 17, 2015.)
Interestingly, humans dislike failure. We keep it at arm’s length. It is a bitter pill. But, it does come to us all the same. We have all experienced failure.
Failure is not a Big Deal
It is not a big deal if you fail. Great men and women have failed.
George Herman Ruth, popularly known as Babe Ruth failed. He was one of American’s celebrated baseball outfielders and pitchers of all times.
In 1923, he set the record for the most home runs in a season while also striking out more than any other player in Major League Baseball. Seattle Times said that over his career, he struck out 1,330 times but rose above his failures to hit 714 home runs.
Babe Ruth himself said “every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
Bill Gates started out in life as a huge embarrassment to himself and parents, but rewrote his history and has become a phenomenal success today.
He dropped out of Harvard, one of the topmost Ivy League universities in America. His first business with Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data was a failure. Bill Gates confronted failure and went on to redefine computer technology, creating a global empire that is Microsoft.
A Perception and an Opportunity
Failure is not the problem: not knowing what to do with it is. Failure will push you into the valley of despondency. Aspire. Anybody may succeed. The ordinary person is afraid of failure. But, it takes an extraordinary person to fail and try again. He strives, succeeds, and sustains greatness.
What really is failure? The dictionary of the ordinary man defines it as “lack of success”. Success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” You fail when you do not get what you set out to accomplish. It is all about measurement and attainment.
The extraordinary person sees failure as a perception and an opportunity to aspire. To aspire, change your mind set. Failure is a tutor. You should use it to achieve greatness.
What Failure Teaches
Failure teaches clarity of vision in confusion, mental alertness in crisis, intelligence in emotional bankruptcy, stability in distress, tenacity in adversity, perseverance in pursuit and character in corruption.
You do not judge yourself by your results. You celebrate short-wins and keep an eye on the prize. You lay aside distractions, withstand storms and go for goals.
Life is before you. Do not settle for less. People fail when they do. Aspire. The secret of greatness is “to aspire” The man dies who fails to aspire.
“If you think you are beaten, you are”
The poet, Walter D. Wintle wrote in “Thinking” that “If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don’t. If you like to win, but you think you can’t, it is almost certain you won’t.”
In the second stanza, he wrote, “If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost. For out of the world we find, Success begins with a fellow’s will. It’s all in the state of mind.”
He went further and said, “If you think you are outclassed, you are. You’ve got to think high to rise, you’ve got to be sure of yourself before, you can ever win a prize.”
He concluded with, “Life’s battles don’t always go, to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins, Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”
Aspire! Challenge your future
When you fail, never give up! Never cave in! Arise and challenge failure. You will win if you do not relent.
Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi also known as Chief Commander is the legendary septuagenarian musician had a stormy beginning in a professional career that could have been dead on arrival.
He had trekked from Mushin to Lagos Island. He had a talent. He wanted to conquer the world and redefine the entertainment landscape with his voice.
He was pregnant with ideas, and trekked all the way to Afrodisia Studio. Then the storm. The secretary had a job to do. No prior appointment, no access. A dream was about to be aborted. An ominous curtain was falling on a glorious future.
Chief Commander told his story: “I trekked all the way to Afrodisia Studio on Lagos Island. I met the secretary who said I can’t see the managing director because the person I was supposed to see was the artiste manager and he was on leave. So he said I should come back in six weeks’ time.”
“The argument continued and that was how the managing director called through the intercom to know the cause of the noise. The secretary said there is a young man here who said he is a future star, and that he said he wants to see you and I told him he can’t see you.”
“So, the managing director exclaimed: ‘future star!’ Send him in.” He went further to say, “So I told him I’m a future star, and that I wanted him to record me without paying me. I told him that my records would sell, and after the sales he should pay me. He kept on looking at me speechless.”
“So, he called one Mr. Ogunbayo and said, “I think this young man … you should give him a chance.” I went for the audition. Marketers were called to present their purchase bid. Then, if it was not up to five hundred purchase bids of records then you can’t be promoted. Mine was short of 19 but they all know my capability.”
“That was how he ordered for 19 to guarantee my stay and that was the first time the managing director did that. That’s why I said I can never, never forget him and again the courage I had to trek from Mushin to Lagos Island. The thing was just pushing me but I didn’t want it to die in me. My album sale was always rated to be either Gold or Platinum. I never had silver.”
Never surrender your dream to failure. Aspire. Do not settle for less. That is the least you must do for yourself. You are sure to succeed, if you do not give in to failure.
Author: Babatunde Fajimi
First published on The Union Newspaper on Sunday, April 19, 2015. http://e-union.cld.bz/e-Union-April-19#24/z