“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. But, if you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. You see, destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. One of the major ingredients of achievement is failure. Failure itself is not the problem, the problem is how you look at it. Personal development helps you improve your skills and minimize your failures.
The importance of personal development can’t be overstated. It’s the secret of separating yourself from the pack, the bridge that carries you toward the goals you have yet to reach. Personal development leads you to a place where you feel secure. Feeling secure isn’t about knowing you’re safe on top of the mountain, it’s about trusting in your ability to climb it again if you should fall. If you were to be dropped on top of the mountain, you won’t enjoy much being there because you’ll be so worried about falling off which will mean the end of you.
This is so true with people who are dropped in positions of power and influence without necessary skills, they never enjoy the role because they spend most of their time protecting themselves from getting dethroned. They are never settled because they know that once they’re dethroned, it’s all over with them, they’ll never come back. So, they are never trusting, not because people can’t be trusted, but because they don’t trust themselves, they end adopting bullying techniques and they never listen or take other people’s inputs or advices. You see, this is not about the outside world but the inner one. Your outside world is an expression of an inner world.
This quote succinctly explains this, “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself” – Unknown. So, a bird that doesn’t believe in itself, simply relies on the branch. If the branch breaks, it goes down with it, I’m certain you get what I’m saying here. You can’t rely on a leadership position to fix things, you need better ideas and influence, not just positional power.
We spend a lot of time investing in things that numb us to the reality of how short life is―things like scrolling the internet and our cell phones for hours on end, or watching TV to the point of restlessness. Entertainment is fun, but how much time do we save for ourselves? How often do we set aside dedicated time for personal development, where we are learning and growing in a way that defines our existence?
Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead. One of my mentors liked to say, “Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success.” I think this is mainly so because we are socialized to believe and think that failure is the worst thing in the world, you fail because you’re stupid. Failure is therefore associated with stupidity and as a result, it has to be avoided at all cost. So, many people give up on their dreams before they even get started because there’s a possibility of failure and appearing stupid, how sad.
Muhammad Ali said, “You don’t lose if you get knocked down; you lose if you stay down.” These are the words I live by. I get knocked down so many times in my life but one thing for sure about me, I stubbornly refuse to stay down. Every failure presents another opportunity for me to begin again more intelligently each time, so, I fail forward toward my dreams!
Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of three books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org , www.velindaba.com or +27 83 304 9773