You fail to succeed

Guest Post by Franklin H. Ezenwa


Failure is the condiment that gives success is failure.” ~~ Truman Capote

Sometime in my second year of undergrad, I had enrolled in a mandatory, core, theoretical and foundational math course which was a nightmare for folks in my program. I bombed the first midterm so badly that I felt out of touch with, and almost beside, myself.  Besides that, the second midterm was better but wasn’t the greatest. At that point, I had the option to drop the course like most of my buddies did, but then I chose to hang on tight till the end (talking about going all in). Even with that failure and bombshell haunting my mind, I didn’t lose grip on a positive mental attitude; I still had my gaze fixed on my end goal for that course. 

 For the remaining part of that semester, after that bombshell, I found myself putting in extra effort toward that course, solving more problems, getting all the help I required by making my home in the Math centre and “lodging” in the prof’s office even past his office hours (the prof and I became good buddies just as housemates are). By the end of that semester, I was very thrilled I hit my target for that course – I eventually made it. 

Looking back at that experience, I’ve learnt that every failure is accompanied by a seed of equivalent success. And our failures have the potential to propel us to achieve lofty heights so long as we hold tight to a positive mental attitude. Instead of seeing failure as a stumbling block, we ought to view it as a string board that’ll catapult us up to obtain an incredible feat in life.

Each time we fail at something, we learn what doesn’t work and what works. And so it’s right to say that those who don’t fail are those who don’t attempt anything new; they are the ones who remain in their comfort zone, never stretching, never risking and always playing it safe. Consequently, these ones never discover their full potential; they never get to know what they are capable of performing (this is not a good place to be honestly). I am reminded of the story of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric bulb.  Around the time he invented the light bulb in 1879, a news reporter asked him how it felt to have failed 10,000 times (that right! 10,000 times that wasn’t a typo). He responded, “I didn’t fail 10,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 10,000 steps.” To Edison, each failing attempt was a step to arriving at a successful attempt.

Perhaps you’ve just failed at something – an exam at school, a business idea you’d just ventured out on, a relationship you thought would be lifelong, etc. Whatever it may be, don’t be afraid to make another attempt (and perhaps another even after that). Remember, if you give up you’ll never achieve that success you desire; so instead of giving up, get up and try again. Resolve not to quit until you’ve achieved your desired outcome because truly – if you don’t quit, you will definitely success  for we fail so that we can succeed. 

To your success!


About the guest

Franklin H. Ezenwa is a software developer by vocation and an author & aspiring international speaker by avocation. His book Be A High Achiever: Achieving all-round Success in College & University is fully loaded with tested and proven ideas, inspirations and techniques that will help students achieve the success they desire at school as well as equipping them to be the best version of themselves as individuals. 

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