Humour this: If I came home presenting a result that looks like a chicken were slaughtered on it and my parents does what they know how to do best: “konk the konk”, bring out the cane or jointly stretch their hands to my nearest cheek. It brings out the best rhythmic (Cry) and at that moment signals the next person (brother or sister) with a result that a cow was killed on, to run before his presentation.
This is an oh-so familiar story growing up from experience and from friends. It really has never been a solution but to my folks, I had to start extra lessons and I was confided to a boarding house in primary school. I’m sure you’ll wonder why or what kind of parents would allow such. But that difficult decision shaped the naughty me who runs from classes to a better me and much more.
Now based on my story, in answering our topic, I recon most of us will say “Nothing”, because we grew up being flogged or chastised creating an image that failing is really a bad thing. Now let’s flip the story, what if you got home and your parents do not beat you but sat you down and discussed the areas you have failed? What if they used the feedback from your school to map out plans to succeed the next time? What if they then took active steps to ensure the errors you made are avoided and the overall goal was to course-correct? Do you see failure now as an evaluation period on how to improve yourself? Does this help us process failure better?
You should understand that no great success comes at a cheap price. If Edison’s 1,000 attempts to create a light bulb was seen as 1,000 failures and not 1,000 ways to avoid making the same mistake, would we even have lamps? If all Ali Baba saw was his failure and he being worthless, we won’t have had the Ali Baba group.
So now, with all my stories let me offer a more constructive explanation for those who have failed to get the moral of the stories and quotes; Failure is not bad at itself but it is an evaluation process that shows you what you have done wrong and allows you to strategically position yourself to grow and avoid it.
Clarifying the obvious misconception in people’s mind that failure is time wasting, regardless of whether you have to repeat the process multiple times; once success finally comes into play, you are restored and you are better off than those ahead of you.
If you haven’t noticed, success has a way of getting you ahead and causes those who rejected you to welcome you to their crew and accord you the respect mediocre dream of. It only becomes failure when you do not learn anything from the experience and course-correct.
During this process, avoid pride. Pride makes people lose out on the benefits of failure and makes them focus on the fact that they have to repeat the process or go back to school with their juniors. It’s a distraction! It derails you from seeing the gift of time you have been given to perfect your skills.
Focus on how to avoid what you did wrong and how to avoid making such mistakes again. Some people might look at you weird and say things to discourage you (innocently or not). Ignore. Focus. Some of them do not appreciate and cannot comprehend the act of you going at it again. Push forward and prove them wrong.
Finally, Failure is a challenge that is in your favour because you already know what not to do and you have the precise things to learn to have the desired result.
Learn from failure and see it as a stepping stone to success!
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley