New Directions: Look Beyond Failure, Focus on the Goal
“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” Mary Pickford.
Permit me to borrow the words of Sherry Anshara in Beyond failure and mistakes. He said: “Is it not amazing that we have been taught to focus on our failures, mistakes and screw-ups? How wondrously functional is that? Not very! And who in the heck said that you failed or had a failure? Who said you made a mistake or screwed up? All of these statements are the emotional opinions of others”.
Thomas Eddison is one of the most successful entrepreneurs who is reported to have tried more than two thousand different experiments that failed before finally he succeeded with the light bulb. He once told a reporter that from his perspective he had never failed at all but learning that; “inventing the light bulb was just a two thousand-step process.”
At the age of 32 years old, Simon Cowell, had £5.26 in his pocket. He has lost everything and was completely broke. He used his last £5.26 to pay a taxi fare back to his parents’ house after losing his home. He recalls praying and hoping that the taxi fare wouldn’t exceed £5.26. At that age he was completely broke and was living with his parents.
He could have given up. He could have said to himself – ‘I quit!’ but instead he remained determined, dedicated, and focused. Today, according to a UK website, Simon Cowell is worth £300 million. Failure is the highway to success. Tom Watson Sr., of IBM said, “If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”
Abraham Lincoln, at age 21 started a business and failed. At age 22, he ran for a legislative position and lost. He then went back to his business at age 24 and failed again. When he became 34 years old, he ran for a senatorial position and lost the election. At 47, he also lost a vice presidential appointment. But at 52 he was elected president of the United States of America.
Would you call Lincoln a failure? He could have quit, hung his head in shame, but he refused to be defeated. Because to him defeat is a detour, not a dead end.
Erma Bombeck as a teenager was asked to forget about writing by his guidance counselor. She experienced so many miscarriages after been told by her doctors she would not conceive. She was making $3 for article she writes for a newspaper company. She experienced many difficulties and adversities in her career.
For slightly more than thirty years Erma wrote her humor articles. During that time, she published fifteen books, was recognized as one of the twenty-five most influential women in America, was featured on the cover of Time magazine received innumerable honors and was awarded fifteen honorary degrees. She also has two children and enjoyed successful marriage.
Had she quit writing, she would not have achieved so much.
According to Nigeria Films website, Ayo Makun popularly known as ‘AY’ also has tasted a rough growing up. He spent 9 years studying for B.A from the Delta State University, Abraka. He has also had issues with marriage.
Today, AY, controls the one of the highest comedy shows across Nigeria and beyond. He discovered and developed many star comedians like Elenu, Seyi-Law, Akpororo, Pencil, and so many others. He owns mansions in Lekki Gardens and runs a successful career. He also has created and produced about three movies.
Every successful person is someone who failed, yet never regarded himself as a failure. All great achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. In the face of adversity, rejection, and failings, they continue believing in themselves and refuse to consider themselves failures. You should too!
I am the Founder and President of Young Leaders Arena. Formerly I was the Chief Editor and program co-ordinator at Walktall. Author of the upcoming Book; Success Recipe: Start up Tool-kit for exceptional business growth. I have written numerous articles on both leadership, business start up, entrepreneurship. I have served as thought leader in many societies and organisations, including the Forum on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. I obtained my post graduate from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. I also have a Bachelors from the Delta State University, Abraka. Twitter & Instagram: @Charlessholokwu