Success and failures are two sides of the coin. While everybody wants to succeed, nobody wants to fail. However, inadvertently, failures sneak into our lives. It build be in marriage, career, businesses, ministry, family, academics and what have you?
Such failures result in pains, rejections and often times we hurt emotionally and even physically. Today we shall be looking at 5 ways to experience true healing in failures.
- Ask for expert advice
In the race of life, since nobody is an island and you don’t know it all, it’s good to ask for advice in our quest for success.
A farmer called Al-Haffed was tired of living a miserable life by eking a living from farming. At the era of diamond mining, he wanted to be rich, powerful and famous. He decided that farming was not the secret to the kind of fortune he wanted. After digging for diamond on his farmland without success, he sold the piece of land and equipment and went in search of the world’s richest diamond. He traveled round the world in a futile search and died a frustrated, dejected, poorer and broken man without laying his hands on any diamond.
Back home, the farmer who bought his farmland called an expert who after surveying the land said diamond lay just five feet below where Al-Haffed stopped.
Five feet further down as predicted by the expert was the world’s richest diamond crust but he went in search of same elsewhere, never realizing that what he was looking for was just five feet below where he stopped.
He died frustrated simply because he failed to seek expert advice.
- Be enthusiastic
In life, there are crests and troughs one has to pass through. If someone tells you, you must experience drawbacks in life; the person is just stating the obvious. But during the turbulent times, if you remain enthusiastic, your distance becomes shorter; your burden becomes lighter and the path smoother.
No great achiever ever lacks enthusiasm to get far in life. You must be an enthusiastic when things are going wrong as when things are going right.
Winston Churchill said “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.
A newspaper reporter once had an interview with the devil. The reporter was most interested in the deceptive power of the interviewee.
“What’s the most useful tool you use on people? Is it dishonesty? Envy? Anger?
“No, no, no”, interjected the devil. “My most useful weapon is apathy because it depletes the human spirit from its fuel – enthusiasm”.
Edward Butler said “everyone is enthusiastic at times. They’re those who are enthusiastic for 30 minutes, others who are for 30 days but only those who remain enthusiastic for 30 years attain a successful life”.
- Face the fear
The fear of failure has incapacitated many souls and destroyed many destinies. In his travails, Job cried out “what I fear most has come upon me”. So what you fear has the tendency of visiting you.
Promising destinies had been held down; great potentials have been left unutilized and wasted by fear of the unknown.
The greatest fear in life is that one imposes on himself. It is human nature to fear but when it comes, develop faith. Yes, faith is the antidote of fear. Just like fear has the capacity to chain you down without making a move, so faith has the power to liberate you. All you have got to do is to give it a chance in whatever you want. I can do it is the best therapy against failure.
Abraham Lincoln said “I am not bothered with whether or not you failed. My only concern is whether you are satisfied with your failure”.
To fail is no sin but what matters is the lesson you learn from the failure to avoid same in the future. That you failed at all indicates how bold you are. You may fail but that is not the end of you. Pick up the pieces and go forward. Failure is but a bend on the road and the bend of the road is not its end. It only tells you to slow down and get ready for more speed once out of the bend.
Just like the coin with two sides, every failure brings with it seed of equivalent success. All you have to do is to face that situation that looks gloomy and you will discover that it isn’t as it looked. After all it is darkest at the dawn of a new day.
You can either control your fears or let your fears control you. In my village, farmers used to erect human simulations to keep crows (the predators or animals) from eating the farm harvest. Crows fear this human simulation called scarecrows, as much as they feared human beings. How do you know what’s real and what’s not? How do you know that what you fear at the moment is not the harmless scarecrows?
There is only way to find out – face it.
Ralph Waldo said “fear defeats more people than any other thing in the world”. Baudjuin said “no matter how hard you work for success, if your thought is saturated with fear of failure, it’ll kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavours and make success impossible”.
No other problems scare people more than failure and success. What? Fear of success? Yes, indeed. Though fear of rejection and failure seem to be the predominant reasons people avoid taking action, success also frightens many. What if I fail? Or worse, what if I succeed? People will discover all my faults or can I live up to their expectations?
Whether you decide to pursue your life’s vision and dreams or not depends entirely on you. Whether you succeed or fail also depends entirely on you. You are in the driver’s seat of the vehicle of your destiny. Every other person is merely a spectator. You control your own destiny. And until you recognize that fact, you will face insurmountable obstacles and be unable to pass them by. You may fail or not quite reach your ultimate goals. So what? Did you try? Did you do everything within your power to make a serious attempt? Or are you just fooling yourself? Don’t blame others. Look inside and within yourself.
If you continue to worry about taking action because of what people will say or not say; do or not do, please understand that there will be costs whether you move forward or stay where you are. Ultimately, you will pay a price. Would you not rather agonize over actions you took and failed than the ones you should have taken but you never did? Regret can be a two-way street. My people say regret is a stillborn. It was inside of you but never saw the light of the day. You wish you had it all over, but it is nothing more than a mere wish.
Many people fear what people will say if they fail and why won’t they think of what people will say if they succeed. Why do you think people will not say a thing if you succeed? The challenge is that we are too pessimistic rather than optimistic, preferring to look at the dark sides of things. If only you learn how to be hopeful about everything, fear will be far from you.
Try what you can, if you fail, chalk it up to experience and move on.
And when you succeed, be thankful for all you’ve achieved. You deserve it. And then . . . move on.
- Be Nice
Niceness to people is reciprocal. It is all about the golden rule of life – do unto others what you want them to do unto you.
When you are nice to people, they in turn will be nice to you. If you are nasty to others, you get nastiness. Niceness is a seed. If you sow niceness, you reap love, friendliness and affection. But if you sow nastiness, you reap hatred and rejection.
For instance I read about this piece of article from Yahoo! News bloggers titled “Hillary’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day” on July 24, 2009, and what transpired between US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton and North Korea.
“North Korea called the Secretary of State a ‘funny lady’ who ‘looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.’ Ouch. To be fair, Clinton stirred it up earlier this week when she compared North Korea to ‘unruly teenagers.’”
For real one expected Clinton to watch her words since her actions or words are cardinal to the success of the foreign policy of the Obama administration, particularly with regard to the peace process in the Middle-East and disarmament of the North Korean nuclear weapons.
Whether as an institution, government or individual, know that the realization of your life goals is hinged on other people’s efforts. When you are nasty to them what you get in return is cold shoulder. But you can get a lot done when you show niceness towards others.
Being nice is simply:
- promoting the interest of others at the expense of your own interest;
- trying to lift someone else up when you are both on the floor;
- putting the smile back again on the face of that individual when all hopes seem to be lost;
- putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, try to walk a mile and see where and how it hurts;
- stepping onto the bush to allow the oncoming person pass on that single footpath;
- it means saying “good morning” to someone whether, the person responds or not.
- When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.
When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look at the person in the eye.
- Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much future. They are rather walking corpses, a dangerous time bomb waiting to explode anytime. Help them to realize their dreams.
- Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt in the process but it’s the only way to live life to the fullest and completely.
- In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
- Don’t judge people by their relatives.
- Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.
- When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Hand over that clean white handkerchief to someone nearby who is weeping to clean his tears.
Remember the three R’s: respect for self; respect for others; and responsibility for all your actions.
Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship. Disputes come and go. In fact they are meant to cement such relationships. In life most times we disagree to agree and agree to disagree. Learn from the teeth and the tongue that quarrel at times but still remain one despite all.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. Don’t be too big to say “I am sorry.” It is the oil of the soul. When sorry is too heavy for you to say, the consequence will be a sorry one.
In conclusion, all men irrespective of race, language, tongue, colour, education, age and background desire one thing – niceness to them.
- Don’t give up
Edward Kramer encourages you “never admit failure until you have made your last attempt and never make last attempt until you have succeeded”.
In the same vain John Dewry admonished that “in the pathway of success problems might loom up but nothing stops the purpose of your plans from being worked out. There may be delays but not defeat”.
That is all. Focus on your purpose, never giving up despite all odds. The journey may be long and discouraging. A point may come that retreating may seem the easiest way out. But look behind you and see those struggling to come to where you are but not succeeding. Remember that the crown of the race of life is already set and only those who complete the race will wear it. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl and if you can’t crawl make sure you keep moving.
As you move, the whole world stands aside for you. You are on the last lap of the race and a little push will take you to the finishing line. Don’t give up; it is too late to do so. Hang on and the world will come to celebrate with you.
A certain army general was defeated in a war with his soldiers scattered. He went into hiding and in his hideout, he saw an ant making attempts to roll a big pebble over a nearby wall. As he counted the ant attempted 69 times and failed. At the 70th attempt, the ant succeeded.
The ant’s success energized the general who jumped out, rearranged his soldiers again and continued with the war until he conquered the enemy.
Rather than giving up, keep on going somewhere. Chances are that you might stumble on something, perhaps when you least expect it. I have not heard or seen anyone stumbling on something sitting down.
Do you know that no matter the score in a football match, the game is not over until the final whistle at the end of 90 minutes regulation time? Likewise, if your biological clock is still ticking, then your game of life is not yet over. Keep in mind that as long as you are still alive, you still have play time and therefore, a chance to win.
- Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded. Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer. Miss P told Peter “you are a bad, bad boy and you will never amount to anything in life”
- Colonel Sanders had the construction of a new road put him out of business in 1967. He went to over 1,000 places trying to sell his chicken recipe before he found a buyer who got interested in his 11 herbs and spices. Seven years later, at the age of 75, Colonel Sanders sold his fried chicken company for a finger-licking’ $15 million!
- Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas. Disney also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
- Charles Darwin, father of the theory of evolution, gave up a medical career and was told by his father, “You care for nothing but shooting dogs, and rat catching.” In his autobiography, Darwin wrote, “I was considered by my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect”.
- Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and didn’t read until he was seven. His teacher described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.” He was expelled and refused admittance to Zurich Polytechnic School. The University of Bern turned down his Ph.D. dissertation as being irrelevant and fanciful.
- The movie Star Wars was rejected by every movie studio in Hollywood before 20th-Century Fox finally produced it. It went on to be one of the largest grossing movies in film history.
- When General Douglas MacArthur applied for admission to West Point, he was turned down, not once but twice. But he tried a third time, was accepted and marched into the history books.
- After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM, dated 1933, said, “Can’t act! Slightly bald! Can dance a little!” Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.
- The father of the sculptor Rodin [The Thinker Statue] said, “I have an idiot for a son.” Described as the worst pupil in the school, Rodin failed three times to secure admittance to the school of art. His uncle called him uneducable.
- When the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book was completed, it was turned down by thirty-three publishers in New York and another ninety at the American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim, California, before Health Communications, Inc., finally agreed to publish it. The major New York publishers said, “It is too nicey-nice” and “Nobody wants to read a book of short little stories.” Since that time more than 8 million copies of the original Chicken Soup for the Soul book have been sold. The series, which has grown to thirty-two titles, in thirty-one languages, has sold more than 53 million copies.
No matter what the situation is, never give up! This is what I believe and this is what I preach!
If you are struggling with any of these, remember you are not alone. We are all in it together working hard to help you heal.
- The world is turmoil;
- The world is in crisis;
- The world is sick;
- The world is dis-eased
- The world is in search of answers;
- The world needs healing;
- The answer lies with all of us;
- Together we can heal the world.
Friends, my pledge remains the same:
- I will keep encouraging you,
- I will keep motivating you,
- I will keep supporting you,
- I will keep standing by you and
- I will keep telling you the truth that:
- you can make it,
- you can become whatever you want to become in life,
- you can achieve whatever you want to achieve,
- you can have whatever you want to have and
- you can go wherever you want to go.
All I ask of you is to keep dreaming the dreams, keep having the visions, keep believing in yourself and keep moving and keep acting on those visions and dreams.
This is why I wrote an internationally acclaimed book “Putting Your Talent to Work” published by Authorhouse, UK and available on kindle-ebooks, google, amazon.co.uk and authorhouse.oc.uk. The book is also in about seven international languages including English, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, French and Portuguese.
For counseling, appointment and invite or to order for “Putting You Talent to Work” call 07064334855, 08117848934 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter: @odelord; Facebook: Ode Idoko and LinkedIn: Ode Idoko; skype: ode.idoko