Failing Forwards Towards Your Goal

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By Goke Ilesanmi


It was a Saturday morning about 25 years ago. I had been so exhausted the previous day that I could not wake up on time. In fact, I was still fast asleep to the extent that I was dreaming. In my dream, a rich man who had just sent me on an errand told me to wait, and he went inside. Guess what! He came out with a bunch of keys. After sorting out the bunch, he handed to me the keys to a Peugeot 505 Evolution car that was the reigning champion then.

In short, I was torn between bewilderment and excitement in the dream due to the gift. I was about starting the engine of the car when a loud noise woke me up to reality. I became dejected as it dawned on me that the gift was fake after all.


I went outside to find out what had actually happened, and saw people rejoicing with a boy who had failed school certificate examinations many times but finally passed because of persistence. In short, this “Abraham Lincoln” finally failed forwards to his success shore by refusing to fail backwards.


General ambition and harbinger


Everybody wants to succeed, but nobody wants to fail. Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die even at overtime of 200 years. Yet, the truth is that success and failure almost always go together like conjoined twins. There are many ways to be a winner, but there is really only one way to be a loser and that is to fail and not look beyond the failure and move forwards. If you are afraid of failure, it will be very difficult for you to succeed.


Failure is a harbinger of success in most cases. So stop failing backwards and start failing forwards each time you encounter any impediment along your path of success. Brian Tracy, a popular motivational speaker says, “The fear of failure is the greatest single obstacle to success in adult life.”




As already noted in the background story to this discourse, persistence is critical to success. Persistence is the indispensable quality that goes hand in hand with all great success in life. Napoleon Hill and Clement Stone ask in their masterpiece Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude if you have a problem and submit that it is good “because repeated victories over your problems are the rungs on your ladder of success…You become a better, bigger, more successful person each time you meet a problem and tackle and conquer it with PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)”.


Tai Solarin


In the same notional vein, the late Dr. Tai Solarin in his work entitled Thinking with You said, “May your road be rough! I am not cursing you; I am just wishing you what I wish myself every year… When my sisters and I were young…our mother always woke us up at 6 for morning prayers. She always said prayers on our behalf but always ended with something like this – ‘May we not enter into any dangers or get into any difficulties this day.’ It took me almost thirty years to dislodge the cankerworm in our mother’s sentiments. I found, by hard experience, that all that is noble and laudable is to be achieved only through difficulties….”


One of the greatest problems people have with failure is that they are too quick to label isolated situations in their lives as failures. John Maxwell, the respected motivational speaker identifies seven characteristics of failure thus: failure is not avoidable; it is not an event; it lacks objectivity; it is not an enemy; it is reversible; it is not a stigma; and it is also not final.


Failure paradox


Randy Gilbert, the author of Success Bound says he does not think that the expression “I’ve become a successful failure” is an oxymoron. Gilbert discloses that for the longest time, his life was in limbo because he feared failure and invariably followed a life of mediocrity. He submits that as a result of his fear of failure, he limited himself to what came along until he confronted failure and later achieved tremendous success.


For many people, the pain of failure leads to fear of failure. That is when many people get stuck in the fear cycle. And if fear overcomes you, it is almost impossible to fail forwards to success. Therefore, endeavour to find the exit route out of the failure expressway today. When you learn to accept responsibility for yourself, your problems and your failures, you are better equipped to fail forwards to your success.


Past memories


To fail forwards and achieve success, it is equally important that you avoid getting engrossed in the memories of the past. Bill Newman, an international motivational speaker says, “Be careful with those memories of the past. They can trap you in mud and make you incapable of moving forward(s).”


Final note


If you do not believe that failure is meant for your benefit, you will be held captive by mediocrity and fear. Therefore, redefine failure today. Regard it as the price you must pay for you to progress.


GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of https://www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng and Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.

Tel: +234(0)8056030424; +234(0)8187499425

Email: info@gokeilesanmi.com.ng; gokeiles2010@gmail.com




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