Sometimes, our biggest resolves come from the biggest failures. Therefore, our worse failures must spark our intense desire to win. Failing badly doesn’t mean failing for good. There is a zest of success in every defeat. We just need to identify it and act on it. If we act on our defeats, we will get ahead, and sometimes get ahead of our competitors and our peers.
It is not always good to be on top of your peers, which is why the first focus in life must not be to overtake others. When we get to the top, it becomes difficult to continue growing because we don’t have standards for growth. It is not a bad thing to be on top, either. All I’m saying is that if you are not on top today, you are where there is ground for you to grow. You should start your growth process today. If you do the right thing, one right thing at a time, and if you are steady, you will get to the top someday, whichever the top means for you.
They failed but succeeded
You see these people, how they failed, and who they turned out to be in life: J.F. Kennedy Jr. failed bar exam, but he became the 35th president of the United States. Antonio Villaraigosa went to an unaccredited law school and failed the bar exam four times, but still got elected mayor of Los Angeles six times and hugged President Obama. Governor Pete Wilson failed bar exam three times and served in the United States Senate and got elected as the 36th governor of California twice. Richard Daley failed the bar and was elected six times as mayor of Chicago.
Now listen to this. Kathleen Sullivan failed California bar exam but was appointed dean of Stanford Law School. What about Secretary of State Hilary Clinton who passed the bar in Arkansas but failed it in D.C. whereby ending her law career? Michelle Obama didn’t pass the Illinois bar exam either. After hearing this, it is fair to say that you do not fail in life unless you choose to crush yourself under your defeats? It is not wise to pursue something you cannot get. If you fail to obtain one thing, either try until you get it, or go do what fits you best.
I was told that I could not speak again without an obturator. And that was the case after an invasive surgery on the palate of my mouth. But it didn’t hurt to try. At night, I started teaching myself how to speak, beginning with the alphabet (French and English). It didn’t come quickly, but I kept trying until I started making intelligible sounds. That’s all I needed: the ability to make sounds. Little by little, I started saying, “A” in English and French. From A’s I went to be. Until letter Z in both languages. After the letters, I started forming syllables. And then words, phrases, sentences. Today, I am a public speaker, no obturator needed. Not every handicap will be fixed. But if you don’t try to fix it, how are you going to know you can fix it?
I am going to make bold statements at this point.
- Do not listen to your fears. Follow the desires of your heart despite your fears.
- Do not listen to science either if you want to rewrite your history. Try what you feel is your calling in life.
- Do not focus on your failures and weaknesses. Work on them instead. When you do, believe that your action will yield great results. If you believe that you are a failure, that might happen to you. If you believe you are a success and you act on your beliefs, success might happen to you. Follow your instinct and keep your interest up.
We can lose interest in projects in life for several reasons. That can happen to anybody. It is not a sign that we have a fixed mindset if that happens. But if that is our trend that we stay on projects when things are working our way and lose interest when they get out of hand, then maybe we have a fixed mindset. Growth mindset is to stay focused on the goal even when things don’t happen to work out well.
I want to warn those that haven’t experienced traumatic events in their lives. And before I give you the warning, you must know what is meant by traumatic. Traumatic here means failing in a business, recovering from a difficult disease or being closed to someone who went through it, experiencing financial or professional hardships, or having bad grades in school. My warning is that there is almost no one on earth who will never go through tough and confusing times. If that hasn’t happened to you yet, be prepared: it will come to pass. When that happens to you, it is good to remember that there is a time for everything.
For students entering high education, it is one thing to be excited about one major and another to go through it. There is no easy major in college. There will be time when you will question your choice and your fit for the program. But remember that the difficulty of the moment will pass if you stay focused on the goal. Just work some more and try another strategy if you need to. Not every method will work with every project.
The top of the ladder is hard to live
The upper you go in your education the harder it will get. But if you are serious with the foundational classes you are offered in your freshman year, you will have a good solid ground to stand on and catapult yourself forward. Every step we take must align with our plan.
I can’t tell you that I love difficult times, in any area. I want it easy too. But there is something in me that just makes me go more enthusiastically when I am challenged and told that I can’t do such and such. If you are someone who has heard over and over that you can’t do anything of great value, I’d suggest that you take that as a fuel to ignite your energy and motivation to prove them wrong. We don’t need to do anything to show that we can, but if that’s what is going to get us out of social traps, then I’d go for it anyway. If good reasons cannot motivate you to grow, use the challenges of life to motivate you.
For younger children, if they’d rather not try something difficult, the parents must think of helping them try, and try again until they pick their interest. If children learn to leave difficult tasks or difficult games alone, they will do the same when they grow up.
Champion sensitive spirits and they will grow
As your children grow up, expose them to more challenging games, such as challenging puzzles. Get their mind to thinking more creatively. In fact, children have more creative minds. We, parents, just need to help them continue in their creativity. We don’t know if we will not raise the next pace-setters of our time.
Some children will come up with new ideas every day. They will want to create machines, invent products, or start businesses: encourage them by monitoring their activities. You must not repress their drive altogether. You must, rather, encourage and guide. Correct correspondingly.
Some children will react to correction very poorly. Instead of seeing it as a means for them to grow, they will manifest anger and resentment. If you know how to pray, please do pray for them. Talk to them one-on-one also, deeply, about their attitude and how it might affect their abilities in to learn.
Life is not easy. It takes a coordinated movement of the diaphragm to press our lungs repeatedly and permit us to breathe. That is not an easy task of the body. It takes a government to sit in the city-capital to pass laws and regulations to govern our society. Believe it or not, that is not an easy task either. It takes mummy and daddy or one of them or our guardian to plan our life out. That is not an easy task, for sure. Tell your children something they can understand to get thrilled with challenging tasks.
Psychology is a big deal
I am a perfectionist. Shame on me. And you realize that even if I were to set such a goal, I would never achieve perfection. No one is flawless. Luckily, it doesn’t matter whether we have flaws: it matters what we do with our flaws. A fixed mindset does not allow flaws. Instead, it will require us to be flawless all the time. The growth mindset acknowledges the flaws people have. It uses them as learning opportunities on which to work. Perfectionism prevents growth because it does not stand flaws.
A flawless person is a person that has stopped living. A person who is conscious of his limits and unceasingly works on them is a person that reaches success. When I realized this truth, I started learning more every day. I now know it is okay to have flaws and work on them tirelessly.
Don’t wait to be perfect before you start
It is okay to learn in the process. It is okay to start over again. When you start a new project, a new endeavor, or a new life, things will seem awkward and out of reach. You will rarely master every task right away. You shouldn’t even expect that. When you are hired to a new position, they always tell you that they do not expect you to be perfect right away or to know everything you need to know right away, which is why you must ask questions when you are stuck.
When learning a new language, you know that you are improving when you start noticing your mistakes. “Oh, I just said something I shouldn’t say!” And then you start correcting yourself. Mastery comes over time. You do not finish your master’s degree the first year you go to college. In the United States, it takes you at least five years to complete your master’s program. Again, mastery is an overtime endeavor. If you can’t notice your own mistakes, you are still on the lowest step of the learning ladder.