Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! Almost everybody pray against failure. In fact, prayer is not complete until we say something like, “Every spirit of failure sent to render me useless, what are you waiting for? die by fire!” The truth is you can never bind failure or setbacks. It is ‘unbindable.’ Why? Because setback is the employee of success!
If you love history like I do, I’m sure you would have found out that every success story started with failures and setbacks. The first rung on the ladder of success is failure. In fact, the first chapter in the book of success is called failure. Every great accomplishment rode on the back of failures. That you failed is not news, it is what you do with the experience that will determine your rating in your generation.
A commercial airline statistics shows that there is only one fatality per 10 billion miles flown. Air travel is a magnificently safe way to travel. Unfortunately, air accidents still occur. But when they do, the Civil Aviation Administration is on the scene quickly to find out what caused the crash.
Fragments of metal are picked up from miles around and pieced together. A variety of experts reconstruct what probably happened. Witnesses and survivors are interviewed. The investigation goes on for weeks, months, until the question “What caused this crash?” is answered.
Once the CAA has the answer, immediate steps are taken to prevent a similar accident from happening again. If the crash was caused by structural defect, other planes of that type must have that defect corrected. Or if certain instruments are found faulty, corrections must be made.
Literally hundreds of safety devices on modern aircraft have resulted from CAA investigations. The CAA studies setbacks to pave the way to safer air travel. And it’s obvious that their efforts pay off.
Doctors use failures or setbacks to pave the way to better health and longer life. Often when a patient dies for an uncertain reasons, doctors perform a postmortem to find out why. In this way, they learn more about the functioning of the human body, and lives of other people are saved.
David J. Schwarz shared this powerful story. “When a setback hits us personally, our first impulse is often to become so emotionally upset that we fail to learn the lesson. Professors know that a student’s reaction to a failing grade provides a clue to his success potential.
When I was a professor at Wayne State University some years ago, I had no choice but to turn on a failing grade for a graduating senior. This was a real blow to the student. He had already made graduation plans, and cancelling was embarrassing. He was left with two alternatives: retake and pass the course and receive his degree at a later graduation, or quit school without earning a degree.
I expected that the student would be disappointed, perhaps even somewhat belligerent, when he learned of his setback. I was right. After I explained that his work was far below passing standards, the student admitted that he hadn’t put forth a serious effort in the course. “But,” he continued, “my past record is at least average. Can’t you consider that?”
I pointed out that I could not, because we measure performance one course at a time. I added that rigid academic codes prohibited changing grades for any reason other than an honest mistake on the part of the professor.
Then the student, realizing that all avenues toward a grade change were closed, became quite angry. “Professor,” he said, “I could name fifty people in this city who’ve succeeded in a big way without taking this course or even knowing about it.
What’s so blasted important about this course? Why should a few bad marks in one course keep me from getting a degree?” “Thank God,” he added, “they don’t look at things on the ‘outside’ like you professors do.”
After that remark I paused for about forty-five seconds. (I’ve learned that when you’ve been sniped at, one way to prevent a war of words is to take a long pause before answering). Then I said to my student friend, “Much of what you say is true. There are many, many highly successful people who know absolutely nothing about the subject matter in this course.
And it is possible for you to succeed without this knowledge. In the total scheme of life, this course content won’t make or break you. But your attitude towards this course may.” “What do you mean by that?” he asked.
“Just this,” I continued. “Outside they grade you just as we grade you. What counts there just as what counts here is doing the job. Outside they won’t promote you or pay you more for doing second-class work.”
I paused again to make certain the point got through. Then I said, “May I make a suggestion? You’re highly disappointed now. I can appreciate how you feel. And I don’t think any less of you if you’re little sore at me.
But look at this experience positively. There is a tremendous important lesson here: if you don’t produce, you don’t get where you want to go. Learn this lesson, and five years from now you’ll regard it as one of the most profitable lessons you learned in all the time you invested here.”
I was glad when I learned a few days later that this student had enrolled for the course. This time he passed with flying colors. Afterwards, he made a special call to see me to let me know how much he had appreciated our earlier discussion.
“I learned something from flunking your course the first time.” he said. “It may sound odd, but you know, Professor, now I’m glad I did not pass the first time.” This young man actually discovered that setbacks can become our launching pad to the next level of our lives.
Several years ago, I learned from one of my mentors that it takes a scar to become a star! Every star has many scars. To get to the top you must confront obstacles. Setback is actually a teacher. Although the courses setback teaches are sometimes difficult to pass, but if you work very hard, you will definitely pass them.
Anytime someone mention David’s name, what do you remember? Goliath of course. It simply means that Goliath was his ladder to the top. Although Goliath was an obstacle, but by facing him with the tenacity of a bulldog, David etched his name on the sands of time.
Stop running away from challenges. Stop lamenting when things are not going the way you planned. There are lessons in every challenge. Every setback must make us better, not bitter. If you keep running away from challenges, you can never get to the top in life.
If you run away from pain, then you must forget about gain. If you don’t like the cross, then you’re not qualified to wear the crown. A setback is a setup for a great comeback. Always remember that you’re like a treasure sent to this earth to generate pace setting results. See you at the top!
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