Failing Forward (1)

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Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure

 ~ Soichiro Honda ~

People fail. Businesses fail. Governments fail.

 Failure is not new to everyone. In fact, we have all failed in one endeavour or the other. Does that make us failures? No! Abraham Lincoln, one of the highly respected past American presidents, failed in business at the age of 21, was defeated in a legislative race at age 22, failed again in business at age 24, overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26, had a nervous breakdown at age 27, lost a congressional race at age 34, lost a senatorial race at age 45, failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47, lost a senatorial race at age 49. Eventually, he was elected president of the United States at age 52. Would you call him a failure? No!

 Failure has a way of making us better. It is indeed a necessary ingredient to our success. We cannot be great achievers without failure. It refines us by making us aware of the mistakes we made so that when we try again, we have better chances of succeeding. Almost everyone who has learned to ride a bicycle will testify that at some point they fell while riding. It is all part of the learning process. Most significant things in life are learned by the method of trial and error. This includes marriage, business endeavours, relationships with people, parenting etc. We usually do not have all the answers at the onset and make mistakes. But as we progress, we adopt self correction and improvement which ultimately makes us better in what we do. That’s the idea of failing forward.

 In 1914, Thomas Edison, at age 67, lost his factory to fire. This factory was worth a few million dollars and had very little insurance. No longer a young man, Edison watched his lifetime effort go up in smoke and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burnt up. Thank God we can start anew.” In spite of disaster, three weeks later, he invented the phonograph.

 When you attempt something and fail, learn from it and try again. As Winston Churchill would say, “Never give up. Never, never, never give up”. Keep at it. Don’t let up. Failing forward is what we need to get to the top

You will succeed!

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  • Bola Ilumoka

    Great post, I’m looking forward to part 2. Cheers.