“If you are going through hell, keep going” – Sir Winston Churchill
It can’t be said any better in the simplest way. Just keep going, do not stop, turn back, deviate, or give up, but just keep going until you get out of it. Many of us are faced with many heart breaking or disappointing situations in our lives. It is how life works. Perhaps it is a necessary evil in our lives that makes us value happiness and appreciate our other blessings in life. Also I do understand that how people act or react to each situation is unique to their individual personalities and experiences and thus I am not generalizing any set universal solution or approach to help stop a self-destructive process due to any given incident.
I have experienced this type of behavior first hand several times in my life and struggled with this phase myself with all that I could to get out of it. I did loose a huge part of my life, emotions, peace, mental balance, and valuable time doing so, but I survived. Now that I am out of that in my life, I can’t help but see it as an escape from a high security prison, where I was being incarcerated for something I never did or deserved. But now that I have cried my way out of it, dug the deepest trenches, crawled out of the darkest tunnels and after immense struggle I see the light of day and freedom, I feel it has been an experience I need to share.
I have learned several lessons in the process and learned firstly to analyze and understand my actions and reactions to each and every situation in life. I learned that I may not be able to understand why others did what they did and how can they be so inhumane and ruthless in their actions. But the only thing I had full and exclusive control over is my actions, reactions, determination, persistence to succeed, ability to think and my will to defend myself from such things and recover from a fall. This further led me to see each and every single option I had at my disposal that I could have chosen to avoid these incidents from happening. But if only I had the wisdom, and smarts to separate my emotions from my rationality I could have avoided a lot of problems in my life. It is strange how life finds a way to warn you about things that could go wrong and we somehow see it but never realize it in good time.
But I realized that when we face such difficult times, we let our emotions take over our intelligence. We begin to feel sorry for ourselves and take the situation as though it was a failure on our part. But I also realized that it was absolutely okay to fail in our lives. It only takes such failures and set backs for us to build ourselves stronger, built our resolve, learn and go further in our lives. Failure is nothing but often the first step to success. If you never fail, you will never succeed truly. The best of horsemen have often broken a bone or two. But they became the best because they chose to get back on that horse as soon as they fell. It is in the darkest of hours and times that the best things in life were created and the brightest ideas were born. And what is more amazing is that the simplest and most ordinary of men came up with these greatest ideas and creations. The fact remains that it was often from the darkest of times and the severest of hurdles, obstacles and criticisms the most ordinary of men came through with the greatest of creations, inventions and ideas.
I am listing a few famous failures below. At one point the idea of these people reaching the heights they had reached would have seemed absurd, but they too faced their share of hardships and many of their ideas, spirit and courage were born out of these hardships. Many didn’t just fail, they failed in spectacular fashion and they failed several times. They didn’t for once accept the negative and give up saying that are imperfect human beings, but instead they took pride and had belief in their capabilities, abilities, drive, courage, and the will to stand up again and fight till they got what they wanted. They were persistent to succeed, had the patience to keep failing, learning from their failures, holding on to their hope, keep trying and wait for their time to come and then some more to succeed, and be determined regardless of consequences.
The grand list of failures who never gave up..
Abraham Lincoln – One of the most amazing and often referred to. Former US president Abraham Lincoln, lost his fiancé, had a nervous breakdown, first went into politics at the age of 23 when he campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly and failed. He was defeated in 8 elections. He once also opened a general store which failed after only a few months.
Robert M Pirsig – His well known book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” was rejected by 121 publishers. Since finally being published in 1974 it has gone on to sell millions of copies in 27 languages.
Michael Jordan – A well publicized and well known fact about the most famous name in basketball was actually cut from his high school basketball team.
John Wayne – Before his successful acting career he was rejected from the United States Naval Academy.
Steven Spielberg – This household name dropped out of high school and applied to attend film school three times but was unsuccessful due to his C grade average.
Beethoven – His music teacher once told him that he was a hopeless composer.
Harry S. Truman – This former USP resident was rejected by the US Military & Naval Academies due to his poor eyesight. At one point he was a clerk in a newspaper mailroom, and also an usher in a movie theater.
Babe Ruth – This baseball legend struck out 1,330 times.
Henry Ford – The Ford Motor Co was Henry Ford’s third business, the first two didn’t work out.
Winston Churchill – This former British Prime Minister did poorly in school and had a speech impediment in his early years.
Marilyn Monroe – Marilyn Monroe spent much of her younger years in foster homes. One of her first jobs, during the Second World War, was inspecting parachutes. Producer told her she was “unattractive” and could not act.
Walt Disney – He was fired by the editor of a newspaper for lacking in ideas.
Soichiro Honda – The founder of Honda was turned down for an engineering job by Toyota after World War Two.
Charles Darwin – His father told him he would amount to nothing and would be a disgrace to himself and his family.
Albert Einstein – He learned to speak at a late age and performed poorly in school.
Thomas Edison – As a boy he was told by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything.
Isaac Newton– He failed at running the family farm and did poorly in school.
Harrison Ford – The Vice President of Columbia told this actor that he was never going to make it in the business. The actor?
Beatles – Turned down by a recording company saying “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out” They were talking about the Beatles
Stephen King – Received 30 rejections and the author threw it in the trash. Luckily his wife fished it out again and encouraged him to resubmit it. The book was Carrie – the author
So, what do we learn from these examples? Should life throw a curve ball at us, do we accept defeat and duck ro whack the hell out of it? The resolve and belief in ones own capability can never be realized by another’s opinion. Regardless of what the world says or indicated regarding your possibilities, it is imperative that you march on until you shut them up. But you have to do this with the realization that failure is merely an essential experience to achieve grand success.
We will be defeated in love, work, school, sports, relationships, trust, faith and almost everything that we lean on. It is absolutely possible and expected for a person to be betrayed, cheated, let down, hurt etc. But this is just a part of the process. We cannot afford to choose the negatives over the positives and live our lives based on our pitfalls. It is a coward act to blame the world, weather, and the dog for the choices we make in our lives.
It is okay to fail, fail, and fail again. But what is important is that you tried. And what is even more important is that you either correct yourself, analyze your reason to fail and try it again after you correct it, or stop doing the same mistake over and again. As they say, one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Instead, analyze, realize you’re a human being, correct yourself, learn from your mistake and move on.
Your reaction to failure will lay the foundation to your future opportunities to succeed:
Next, do not be cynical about life. As Oscar Wilde once rightly put it; “A Cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. Take a step back; analyze first your decision, your reactions and what you could have done to avoid the situation. Next be forgiving and learn from this mistake. Avoid such individuals or situation next time around. And above all, move forward, and progress in life. In a few years you will not even remember this event or may be too busy with other priorities in life. This experience or phase will just be a bad memory of the past. But this happens only when you will move forward in life as opposed or regressing and letting a bad even take over your life and control your future. Do not be negative about a mishap in life.
It is very easy for us to slip into a negative zone where we indulge in our sorrow and begin to crumble when we are faced with stress and failure. Here are a few things you can do to snap out o fit and take life by its horns:
- Realize you are destroying yourself, your future, and your life for the amusement and entertainment of others who do not care about you but at the expense of your loved ones and yourself.
- Know that at times what you think is betrayal or a loss when someone walks away from you or abandons you without good reason; it could actually be for your own good as they secretly know something about themselves and are too ashamed to share it with you for your own good.
- Do not question or try to analyze the motives of others when you are wronged. Only they truly know their motives, reasons and let them justify it with their poor reasoning abilities or suffer from eventual guilt and consequences. It is often their loss.
- Analyze your actions, reactions and mistakes. Think of the warning signals you ignored, your reactions to them, your action, your mistakes that you could have avoided or controlled and learn from them. Remember them, and do not repeat them.
- Do not indulge in negativity. Be positive and choose to move ahead in life for better things. Know that bad things happen to everyone. Be it a president, a millionaire, a poor person, a celebrity or an unknown. Each move on. They pick themselves up, dust themselves, learn from their fall and move on only to become stronger and smarter next time and win more respect and admiration for how they handled their situation.
- Others can tell you things all you want to hear There are good friends, family, professionals etc all to advice you on how to rebound or what to do. Many a times you yourself know what needs to be done and what are the right things to do. The challenge is to CHOOSE to do it. To get up and take action.
- Always remember that it is absolutely normal and okay to fail. Not just once, but perhaps several times. But learn from your mistakes and correct yourself. You need to stop yourself from failing. You do it in video games; you do it in love, friendship and many tasks that interest you. You just have to choose, stop, refocus and make genuine efforts to win and succeed.
- Word hard to develop and carry the attitude to succeed, accomplish, do great things, and achieve greater goals and do greater deeds in life. Have the attitude and aptitude to inspire, lead, protect, defend and shine in your life as good, decent, and fantastic human being.
- Solidify your ability to endure, persevere and keep trying with just one unwavering goal and aim to accomplish your desire and the resulting rewards. Be it to get a qualification, a degree, an exam, a profession, a task in a job, an ambition, a deed for your loved ones, or even being patient for the sake of your loved ones happiness.
- Above all, aspire to win. Inspire others by winning against the odds. Show them how it is done and do it well. Motivate others by setting an example on how to come out of the darkness. Share your successes and see it help others.
Remember: If you fail in one thing it doesn’t mean you are bad in everything. You could be great or the greatest in one particular thing in life if you wish. And you are always lot more worthy than you think of yourself to be. Realize the simple great things you can do every day in your life and make it worthwhile. This is not the great secret to success.
Strangely, many of us know these things very well. But surprisingly many of us never get to taking actions towards breaking free from failure. We take great pride in several things about ourselves, often we are arrogant about our small achievements in life and get angry when anyone thinks any less of our intelligence but we never seem to put enough faith in our wisdom, ability to formulate a plan to overcome our setbacks and fight towards success. The truth about many of our failures in life is that we never really did anything to fight back.
Your life is nothing more than the choices you make in your reactions to everyday events!