A journey of a thousand miles they say begins with a step. The journey to success is like the story of an adventurer who has many hurdles on his path but in the end, the challenges make the story interesting.
Failure can be likened to a mountaineer who encounters wild animals, harsh weather conditions, stony and rough grounds, slippery ground etc. Most times, the climber slips back to areas he has overcome. There are possibilities that the climber would remain stagnant at a place for days due to these challenges, but they build him and make him stronger. He might be faced with some thoughts of giving up, but his target (the mountaintop) becomes his strength.
Success is like a finished product. Every finished product has rough or raw processes that build it to a beautiful commodity. To refine gold, it must pass through molten stages, which require extreme hot temperatures. When you see a beautiful shirt, you should realize it was once a plane fabric which passed through cuts and stitches to make what you now admire.
Now I want to let you know that failure is just a vocabulary standing on its own. In a story of success, it is a process in the actualization of a target (success), therefore giving up because things didn’t go the way you want means you have accepted failure, but not as a means to an end -success. The journey to achieving your goals starts with action – a step.
One can have the finest dream, but without action, it is as good as dead. Therefore, a step kick starts it, not minding if it turns favourable or not.
Anyone who thinks failure has a negative effect should look back at the serial failures of James Dyson, who created the bagless vacuum cleaner, Dyson took five years and 5,127 prototypes before he got his vacuum cleaner right. But the 5,128th model was a huge success.
Thomas Edison claimed to have conducted 10,000 experiments before he made a light bulb that worked properly. But he ended up with 1,093 patents to his name and was a founder of General Electric, (now just called GE) one of the most successful companies of all time.
Hundreds of famous failures became famous successes but more often than not, the struggles through their success are not as highlighted as their now success.
Failures/ mistakes help you restrategise. It repositions and refines your dream. Rather than see failure as the result, see it as the means to an end. As a stepping-stone to success.
Rediscover/reposition: When you fail, it helps you to rediscover and reposition your way to success. This can best be illustrated in the story of ALBERT EINSTEIN who graduated from the renowned Swiss Polytechnic Institute at the age of 21 and was struggling to find employment. To make matters worse, Einstein had a terrible reputation as a student. He skipped classes, and his professors never took him seriously. Moreover, Einstein never performed spectacularly in school. He was only good in mathematics and physics but did so poorly generally that he nearly decided to drop out, and just sell life insurance.
Eventually, he found legitimate employment as a patent clerk. Every day, he would sit down, review patents, and analyze mathematical equations (patents had a lot of math in them) and Einstein loved it. His work transformed the way physicists thought about light, gravity, and space and remains to be one of the most iconic physicists of all time.
In the story of Albert Einstein, thinking that he was a failure just settled for a patent clerk job, even on the job, he discovered his passion for analyzing mathematical equations and it helped him build a career in physics which ultimately led him to success.
A quote by Oprah Winfrey says, “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction”.
Restrategize: Failure helps you restrategize. It aids you in refining your steps towards your dream. When you make corn pudding and it becomes watery, you may want to know the reason why it happened and how to do it better, it should not stop you from ever taking corn pudding. This is exactly how you should see failures and challenges.
A practical example of how failure helps one restrategize steps to achieving one’s dream is the story of Oprah Winfrey.
Early in her career, she worked on a failed news show and was demoted from her primetime co-anchor role. However, Winfrey’s empathetic style later found traction and she gained her talk show, which rocketed her to international success.
After a quarter-century of success with her talk show, many wrote off Oprah’s OWN network as a failure when it initially struggled to build a viewership or turn a profit. She didn’t give after what seemed like failure.
She made several changes, such as redesigning programming and collaborating with other creators, Winfrey was able to turn things around, and the network stands to this day.
Winfrey took each setback in her path as a lesson. Her failures weren’t unscalable brick walls; they were stepping stones toward her success
Motivation: Some of the most successful people in the world had to overcome failure at some point in their lives. Rather than giving up and allowing their failures to define them, they used setbacks as motivation to make a lasting impact in their field. The story of Michael Jordan illustrates how failure is a motivating factor.
Micheal Jordan says,
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it”
As a child, Michael had a very close relationship with his father, this stemming from their mutual love for sports. Baseball was their sport of choice and they bonded greatly over such games. Michael, however, chose to play basketball to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Larry, whom he looked up to.
In his early years at Emsley A. Laney High School, Michael tried out for an open position on the basketball varsity team. He hadn’t grown to his full height yet, nor did he have the skill he clearly showed the world in the years to come. He was not chosen for the position. Instead, the team opted for someone taller and bigger and—he believed—a less competent player than he was.
People who saw Michael grow up claimed that he was competitive in almost everything. He liked winning and was, in fact, a sore loser. Consequently, he took it hard when he did not make it to his high school’s varsity team.
When another spot opened for the basketball varsity team, Michael again tried his luck and was accepted as a team member.
He was disappointed, however, as he was barely allowed to play in the interschool games. He was mostly on the bench, handing out water and towels to the tired players.
Long story short, He never gave up, he believed he can do it, and it motivated him more to keep trying. His resilience and relentlessness later paid off.
Never accept failure as an option, that is why in a success story, failure is considered a process to your success, you might be rejected, criticized, mocked and looked down on but this negativity should be the reason you should push on to prove everyone wrong.
In conclusion, even if you fail, it becomes an experience. Someone with experience is better than one who has not tried. Struggling is always part of the process of success.