APPROACHING a new year brings both joy and fears. To some, a new year bridges the gap between their successes and failures, or makes a wall between their success and failure. To some people, a new year conveys a lot of hope, while to others it brings many worries. The approach of the New Year is so particular to an individual and the list of emotions for the new year is endless. Nonetheless, to every successful year, there is an amount of failures and worthwhile lessons from them.
Failure is lack of success: A lack of success in or at something. Failure is something less than that required: something that falls short of what is required or expected. Like success, failure is also part of life though it has no independent existence and can only be talked about in comparison with the score of successes in life.
Although failure has no independent existence, we all experience failures. In fact, some failures in life are inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something; unless you live so consciously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default. Failure at some point in your life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable when you still have the energy to succeed.
Failure is experiential. Therefore, we can use the experience of it to make things right. In this case, we take failure to be a stepping stone as it gives us room to turn a bitter experience into something better. Hence, we don’t have to worry so much about our failures. We need to worry about the chances we miss when we don’t even try. So building our successes on the wings of our failures is having lessons from such experiences and investing in the future for failure is an opportunity to begin again. Only this time more wisely.
Steve Jobs says: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future: because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off well one path, and that will make a difference.”
When life hits us hard, we have to hit back harder. Our 2018 depends so much on our manner and energy of picking up the broken pieces (failures) because a good year comes from what we are capable of doing and from a good attitude towards our failures. It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. You can only measure your successes in relation with your failures. In this case, you will gauge your successes in relation with your failures based on what you are capable of accomplishing, and yet, you don’t do it.
To draw our success from the wings of our failures, it is important to look back on how we have failed, for success is on the same road as failure; success is just a little further down the road. Denzel Washington says: “Don’t be afraid to fail big” because in some circumstances, it is the same converted energy of our failures that reciprocates into successes.
Martin Luther says: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” In our failures, we need to remain motivated and develop the habit of keeping ourselves going. We don’t have to worry so much about our failures because we have an opportunity to make it right once.
We do not need to be embarrassed by our failures, all we need is having a lesson from them and start again. So, it is high time we begun treading on the wings of our failures by drawing successes from them within the first month of the year. The newness of a year may not be felt from the start, and we may have already given up! However, if you feel like giving up, look back on how far you’ve reached already to make it up to 2018.
Don’t drain your energy by focusing so much on how much you have failed because the largest room in the world is the room for improvement. You don’t have to be great to start anew in 2018, but you have to start to be great. Yes! 2017 might have failed you or you failed it. You still have the opportunity to set a good pace on how you want 2018 to unfold to yourself.
Our greatest fear should not be the fear for our failures but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. Then, once we tumble, there is a great need to remain focused and determined so as not to divert the energy in doing something simple.
As it is said: “While most are dreaming of success, winners wake up and work hard to achieve it.” Therefore, for us to succeed beyond our failures, we need to work hard in 2018 like never before.
The author is a pastoral worker at the Cathedral of Christ the King.