Three years ago , I withdrew all my savings and borrowed more to finance a business idea. The venture involved importing refurbished Tablet-PCs from U.S and reselling them across the country. Based on my projections I was bound to make obscene profits and quit college in a year to concentrate on the business.
Unfortunately this never happened. The costs involved in importing the first batch were very high, made worse by the fact that two days after receiving my shipment Safaricom rolled out their batch of Tablet-PCs which were cheaper and superior. I didn’t manage to sell even a single gadget. My entrepreneurial aspirations were bashed. I lost all my money and had to toil hard to pay off the debts.
If success and failure were people then the latter would be a blood relative. I have failed more times than I have succeeded. I have been the laughing stock more times than I have been feted for doing something good. Even though the society looks down upon those who fail, I have come to embrace it. In fact I almost look forward to failing. The following are seven key lessons you only learn after experiencing failure.
When you are used to winning if not careful it gets into your head so you become contented with being the best among your small circle of friends. However, if you fail the world goes dark, you are left with no choice but to sit down and re-evaluate your whole life in order to identify what went wrong. You realize the need to humble yourself and learn from those who are better than you.
Failing is not the final destination it is simply a prerequisite for success
2) Toughens you up
Let’s face it, life is a constant up and down affair. Facing failure at a young age is the most important experience one needs to survive in this tough world later in life. You get to realize that rejection, failure, and disappointment are part life so you can either whine or do something about it.
Failure helps one realize that happiness is a choice and not a product of the external environment. You get to learn to stay happy and positive even when everything else around you is falling apart. It makes you understand that relationship problems, loss of employment and other nasty stuff can happen to anyone hence no need to harm yourself or despair should it happen to you.
3) Motivates you to succeed
Nothing motivates a man to move out of his comfort zone and pursue his dreams like the taste of failure. Ask any successful individual in this world and they will tell you it’s the terrible experiences that drove them to be where they are today. Sometimes, we need to fail at something for the creative juices in our brains to be activated. The next time someone denies you an opportunity claiming you are not good enough, don’t be discouraged, it is a stage all great people have to go through.
When I fail, my world momentarily comes to a stop. No amount of consolation can drive away the sadness and disappointment I feel then. My social life is always the first victim. I stop going out, lose my appetite while sleep eludes me. I dedicate all my time and energy to turning my fortunes until I succeed.
4) Makes you appreciate what you have
As human beings, we have a penchant for overlooking the good things we have and focus on the negatives. The moment you win after failing a couple of times you get to appreciate what you have. If you haven’t failed before chances are you will take it for granted or rub you win on everyone else face without a care of how they feel.
Having failed before you know exactly how your competitors feel so you cannot afford to be pompous about it. The knowledge that you could lose the next time also makes it easier to turn your competitors to partners in order to achieve the common good.
5) Transforms one into risk taker
Recovering from a great loss is very important for anyone wishing to venture out into business. Most people never take major risks after losing so much money. Conversely, those who see the setback as a learning experience realize that no matter how much money they could potentially lose they can always get back on their feet. This undying spirit and zeal to take up on more risk become permanently ingrained in their DNA.
Failure makes you a bigger risk taker. Having failed before, one becomes wiser hence finds it easier to invest their money into risky ventures without losing much sleep.
6) makes one immune to ridicule
World over, men fail to approach the women they are most attracted to because they are afraid of being publicly humiliated. A majority of the population sticks to toxic relationships, holds on to dreary jobs and fails to exploit their full potential since they are afraid of people laughing at them should they make a drastic move and fail.
Speaking as someone who is frequently caught up in very embarrassing situations, once you learn to laugh at yourself and let others do the same you become free. You are able to do anything your heart desires without a care of what people may think of you.
7) Makes you independent
As a teenager, whenever I faced a problem my father would say to me “Son, nobody owes you anything in this world, not the government, not the society, not your parents and not even God owes you anything. You are a man and every man must learn to solve his own problems” it was until later in life that I really understood what he meant.
Through the course of our lives the people we bank all our hopes on fail us. The people we thought were good friends betray us, parents and relatives disown us, the government oppresses us and even God doesn’t answer our prayers. These are the darkest moments of our lives but we always have a choice, to either lift our hands up and blame everyone else for our predicament or get back on our feet and dig ourselves out of the mess.
The greatest lesson I learned from failure is that the only person responsible for my success or failure in life is me alone so come what may, I strive to overcome all hurdles my way without expecting help from anyone else in this world.
What have you learned from failing?
Written by Mark Maish