Have you ever wanted something so much that you didn’t even think about any other possibility? Your whole attention focused on the objective; with a relatively poor consideration for the journey to goal attainment. You want something so much that you feel like the world would end if you do not achieve that aim. Well, let me tell you a story; because in truth, stories are nothing more than personal or borrowed experiences. I have chosen to share because I guess it might give you or someone else a new perspective or insight on how the world works and equip you to stress less about most of the things that seem to be breaking your spirit.
Over the years, my heart has been filled with lots of love but not without some hate. Yes, I said it! Hate, which happens to validate my humanity. I hated my inability to win on most of my valued targets; but with age and experience the hate has morphed into gratitude. There are numerous line items in my old diaries that I sought to achieve because I felt and thought that they would be my game changers, only for things to fall through. Now looking at life through my rearview mirror, I am elated that I experienced those failures. Today, I concur with Stephen Covey that life is lived forward but understood backwards.
No one actually fails. It is our mindset that makes us believe we are failing when in truth we are learning. While learning (failing) we need to reassess our goals and actions along three parameters:
- Ability – competence/strength
- Readiness – time
- Willingness – attitude.
I did not attain most of those targets because I was not ready (it was not the right time), I didn’t have the requisite strength or capacity which in most cases is mental or the right attitude wasn’t resident me. In some cases, it was just by divine providence that things did not work out as planned because God had other plans. These shortcomings called failure are in truth defining moments in our lives that we respond to emotionally instead of with logic and an open mind to appreciate that our existence is not all about the successes we attain but also how much of a failure we are because they both define our path forward.
The lives of a few friends and colleagues of mine give credence to the blessings of failure. Look deeper but not hard and you will realize that there are certain things that you are grateful you failed at because you are happier that those anticipated outcomes didn’t happen now that you know better. Failure sometimes is an opportunity to redirect our focus away from the wrong direction, “to reset”. Do you know what it means to run one thousand miles in the wrong direction? That is a great possibility when infatuated with “success”. Remember that if you are on the wrong road, speed is inconsequential and failure is the jolt that will redirect you.
As I look ahead with a deep reflection on my failures, I am profoundly grateful that I did not succeed at those endeavours because to be honest with myself, I was not ready enough to win. Winning at those times would never have allowed me to push and attain my current optimal performance levels. The successes would have been nothing but ethereal and would have become casualties in the nearest future. Today I value my failures, they remain the most important medals of my life’s games.