“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” (Barack Obama)
Have you ever felt that you are a failure and that you just can’t accomplish a certain task? Do you often try something for a while and when you do not succeed, think that you are a failure and that it is just not your ball game. Do you always have a fear that you might fail and hence, stay away from even trying? I am sure you have and I guess that is pretty normal. Everyone goes through that phase in life where we are not able to accomplish something and it occurs quite frequently in life. At this point, what we need to realize is that this not the end of the world and there are still tons of ways to get where you want to. The mistake we all make here is that we think that we have failed where really the fact of the matter is that you have just not succeeded YET! One only needs to keep trying. If you do not succeed by one way, it doesn’t mean that you won’t with another.
Just keep trying until you succeed. As it has been popularly quoted, “You haven’t failed until you have stopped trying.”
Let us take a look at some of the greatest examples that we have had in history. To start with, do you know that only 400 cokes were sold the first year; Albert Einstein’s Ph.D. dissertation was rejected; Henry Ford had two bankruptcies before his famous success; or Ulysses S. Grant was working as a handyman, written off as a failure, eight years before becoming President of the United States?
Just think what would have happened if the above influential people and real life examples had given up hope and thought that they had failed when they didn’t succeed the first time? Would they have accomplished any of what they finally did? Would they be remembered for their achievements? When we see such examples, we learn that nothing is impossible and that it is only a matter of staying in the game and continue putting in the required effort.
In a famous saying, Terry Paulson states, ‘Winners lose more than losers. They win and lose more than losers, because they stay in the game. “
It is important that we stick to the task at hand and keep trying until we eventually succeed. This is the difference between successful achievers and over achievers and the ones who do not achieve anything. Do you think the successful people haven’t faced failure? Did they get it all in a plate and they just ate it? There is no way that that can happen. Every successful person on earth has been through numerous hardships, been in darkness and faced failure. The only difference is that successful people choose to try again and then again until they succeed. It is their sheer determination and perseverance that takes them till the end and distinguishes them from the rest of the world.
Each and every failure that we go through makes us stronger and ready for a bigger challenge. We have all heard when it is said that “Anything that doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” So failing does not make us a failure, it teaches us, it gives us the strength to face tougher challenges and prepares us for the tougher parts of life that lie ahead. If we got it all easy and we had a smooth sail through life, we will not succeed even in the easiest of challenges in life because we would have not faced hardships and we would have not become strong enough to face the difficulties and hurdles of life. That is when one would realize how important a role each and every small and big temporary failure plays a part in our lives. These failures are just hitches that give us an opportunity to slow down, think, focus, plan and make sure that we maintain our movement in the right direction.
Looking at the positives of facing failure, I feel failure also acts as a wakeup call. It brings us back to reality when we stop seeing the real world. There are always times when we are doing well, sometimes too well to be true and we think that there is no stopping us and we start to take things for granted. Then suddenly there is this shake up that makes us realize that we are human beings and we are prone to failure and that success is never final. This makes sure that we keep our feet firmly grounded and stay down to earth and humble in our dealings.
Therefore, keeping in mind the above mentioned we should not be afraid to face failure and to fail. Failure is one of the most important ways that can teach us how to face difficulty and help us succeed in each and every walk of life. It should be seen as an opportunity to learn, to improve and to better ourselves. At the same time we should make sure that none of our failures go to waste and that we put the experience gained from it to good use for future circumstances and situations. Failure should always be used as a stepping stone to success.
In the end, all we need to do is to remember that one has not failed until he has stopped trying. We can only say that a person has failed when that person just gives up, says that there is no way that he can accomplish a certain goal and eventually stops trying. This is the only point where we can say that a person has failed. But if the same person keeps on persevering and trying, it can never be said that a person has failed.
“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.” (Mary Pickford)
Talha Tashfeen Qayyum is a full-time postgraduate business student at the University of Birmingham, UK, and a freelance writer. He intends to contribute to life, society and Islam through his writings on self improvement and personal development with the vision to positively affect other people’s lives. Talha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Life Discovery: Living, not merely Existing: talhatashfeen.blogspot.com.