Talking About Failure

It may surprise you that I am talking about failure. Every average Nigerian would quickly reject it with the following sayings; “ it is not my portion” “ back to sender” “God forbid” and many other phrases like that which are actually misleading so many young people today to believe that any time you experience failure in any activity you engage in, that something evil is responsible for it. I am not here to talk about religion or religious beliefs.  However, just as Senator Ben Murray Bruce would say, I want to make common sense, hope you would be willing to reason with me.

Failure in itself is not a bad thing, it depends on how we see it. I want to begin my discussion with the following quotes.

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try – Beverly Sills (1929).

Nobody cleared a path for themselves by giving up. – Alacia Bessette (2010).

If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything. – Bill Lyon.

I am discussing failure as a topic, because, the results of the last session’s examinations are already being released by different departments. Many people would record success, while many may fail one or two courses. How you handle your failure would determine your success in subsequent examinations. Therefore, rather than looking for the causes of your failure from the outside, I want to encourage you to take out time to review what factors actually contributed to your failure. It may be:

  1. Lack of adequate time to study;
  2. Inappropriate study habit, study skills, and attitude;
  3. Examination anxiety;
  4. Over-confidence;
  5. Misplacing your priority during examination period, that is, ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’;
  6. Hoping that there are other shortcuts to success, which may disappoint you at last.
  7. After you have reviewed the factors listed above, you would definitely identify one problem or the other that contributed to your failure. You, therefore, need to consciously work on that problem in order to overcome it before the next examination.  

Let me conclude with the following quote.

“Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterward carefully avoid.’’ - John Keats - English lyric poet (1795 - 1821)

Thank You.

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