Failure as stepping stone of success
His teachers considered him to be a lazy student. One said he was convinced he would never amount to anything. Another said, “If Marshal Rommel ever hands in a dictionary without a mistake we’ll hire a band and go off for a day in the country.”
That was all the incentive young Rommel needed. He immediately sat up, paid attention, and turned in a dictation without one single error. He obviously could do the work if he wanted to and if there was sufficient enticement to get him to make the effort! When the promised award was not forthcoming, however, Rommel fell back into his old ways.
Later in life Rommel did find a cause he could believe in. It fired his ambition to the extend that he was filled with driving energy, rose above the ranks, and eventually gained a reputation as one of the ablest military men in the world. Marshal Rommel became known as “the Desert Fox,” one of Britain’s foremost heroes in World War II.
Michael Jordan may not be the greatest basketball player who ever played the game, but there are countless critics and fans alike who believe he is. It’s difficult to think that the Chicago Bull superstar guard was ever anything but a standout. And yet, Jordan was cut as a sophomore from his high school basketball team. He has said, “The day the cut list was going up, a friend Leroy Smith and I went to the gym to look together. If you name was on the list, you made the team. Leroy’s name was there, and mine wasn’t. I went through the day numb. After school, I hurried home, closed the door to my room and cried so hard.” Jordan may not have made the team, but he didn’t quit.
At the end of the regular season, he worked up his nerve to ask the coach if he could ride on the bus with the team to the district tournament. The coach agreed, but only if Jordan would carry the players’ uniforms. So that’s what he did! The following summer, Jordan practiced diligently everyday. The next year he made the varsity team, and went on to the University of North Carolina. In his freshman year, his team won the BCCA championship and he was on his way to big time.
Some of the world’s greatest achievers have been saddled with disabilities and adversities.
Sir Walter Scott was crippled. John Bunyan was imprisoned during those agonizing years he completed his famous books the Pilgrims Progress and The Holy War.. George Washington was snow bound and freezing in Valley Forge. Abraham Lincoln was raised in abject poverty. Benjamin Disraeli was subject to bitter religious prejudice. Franklin Roosevelt was struck down with infantile paralysis. Ludwig von Beethoven was paralyzed on his right side and became deaf. Glen Cunningham, a world record holding sprinter had legs badly burned in a school fire. Helen Keller the inspirational writer was blind.
Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson and George Washington Carver were all born into a society filled with racial discrimination. Enrico Caruso was the first child to survive in a poor Italian family of eighteen children. Itzhak Perlman, concert violinist was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of four.
How does failure benefit you?
If we take failure positively then, for every failure you experience you learn what does not work or a behavior you know not to repeat. Do not be afraid of failure. The pervasive misconception is that failure is somehow bad for you. Ken Jacobson says, “I think failure is just the opposite and have identified 8 statements for you to think about on why failure is your stepping stone to success:
1. Failure fuels determination
2. Failure forces creativity
3. Failure makes you use your mind
4. Failure facilitates change
5. Failure separates the strong from the weak
6. Without failure you have no motivation to try again
7. Without failure there is limited opportunity to learn
8. Without failure you become complacent
The notion is basic, failure is the change agent to you becoming successful; do not let the negative perception surrounding it bring you down. You are in charge of your life and turning the failure into a positive experience.” (Why failure is stepping stone to success? Saturday, January 31, 2009)
A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits. Each person is motivated differently. For most people, the deepest motivation lies in their faith. However, the outcome of motivation is universal. It sparks the actions which will change your dream into reality. Turning their place of failures into triumphs are the people who are creating history. Therefore, Hallelujah choruses are not born in a vacation condominium but in a jail cell in Acts 16:16-34.
Dr.J.M. Ngul Khan Pau
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