Success Enigmata – Part 1

How hard we try to succeed yet we hardly succeed. It is so close but so far away. The hope for success enlivens us. Brightens our scope in life. Gives reason to live. The drive to succeed gives life to hope making it hard to kill hope. 

We all come through stages in life with desire to succeed but are challenged by opportunities we may not have. We suffer deprivations that limits the chances we have to succeed. We suffer self condemnation that keeps us so broken and beaten. 
Many success stories come with several moments of failures. We lay down our life’s to succeed yet our own life fails us. We build castles in the air not because we can’t build one on the ground. We reach for the sky even when we know the Sky is not within reach. We raise the bar so high such that it stays up high. We run a thousand mile even when our limbs will barely move.  
“All fingers are not equal” 
So many had taking their chances with success but very few got the smile of success at the effort put forth to succeed. Often times people use the idiom “all fingers are not equal” as a paradox for success and failure. I do not see any of the 10 fingers that stay idol in the struggle for success. No finger takes credit to itself for any achieved success. In a way we are all fingers working to be successful. That anyone of us succeeded is because we got support from another. I do not know of any who succeeded independently.
Developed countries did not succeed by themselves. The era of slave trade contributed to the relative success of the Western world. They tactfully established trade routes so as to be supported by both human and natural resources that they were not having to succeed. They got the support they needed to succeed from fingers that’s not equal to theirs.   
Entrepreneurs did not succeed because they have an idea. Ideas are simply ideas until they are put to work. Establishments are set up to consolidate a business idea. Support is needed and such support comes from fingers that’s not equal to theirs.
“All fingers are not equal” used derogatorily is a way of holding down the assumed other unequal finger. Ask those who have lost a finger they’ll tell they started knowing the value of the finger only when they lost it. That one becomes successful, an assumed insignificant finger has lend support. An assumed insignificant finger has labored to drive the success of another through.  
Successful Failure 
No one starts to achieve anything with the mindset to fail. A definition of failure gives something to think about. That definition explains failure as an “omission of occurrence or performance.” There are set procedures to success, if a set procedure is missed in the sequence of occurrence that is when failure starts to set in. Sometimes the signs of failure to achieve a desired goal could have been obvious earlier but was either not noted or disregarded. Take as an example a woman who desired to be a successful house wife but never learnt to make a home. Her failure wasn’t at the point of marriage but when she was growing up with her parents as a young lady. There is always a starting point to success. Where we start from to succeed determines whether we succeed easily or struggle through the set procedures.
Remember the adage “there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel”. Whether the bright light at the end of the tunnel is far or near is a factor of ones perception of failure and success. The line between success and failure, though thin, lies in the ability (or what might be referred to as resilience) to recover after a failed effort.
Most successful people learned from observed or read failures of others. Since we are imperfect, we cannot be so careful not to fail. A fresh graduate was employed into an organization. He was almost getting choked out off not wanting to appear to be failing on his task. His boss saw he was struggling to keep up. So he told him it’s ok for him to fail on his task. The fresh graduate got the message. No one had succeeded without first of all failing at the onset.  
Failure is never absolute, it is relative to the extent any one of the set procedure to achieving a desired goal is missed. It’s like someone solving for the value of X. The required mathematical rule may have been taking but the required value for X was not achieved. Some of us may be familiar with the half mark given for not getting the correct value of X. An intelligent student simply goes through the set process or rule again in solving for the value of X. He or she finds success in failure. 
The Chinese master and his servant: There is a story about a Chinese master and servant that teaches a strong object lesson about success. This story was related by my boss at the get-together part held on my last working day. 
A Chinese master was on a long trip with his servant. They kept on going to a never to be reach destination. Along the way, when it became night, they stumbled at a very small hut occupied by a poorly fed family whose whole living is depended on milking an only cow. They spent the night with the family. The Chinese master and his servant assisted the family in milking the cow so they can also have something to eat.
At day break, they had to leave the family and continued their journey. Night met them again distance away from the hurt occupied by the poorly fed family. The Chinese master instructed his servant to go back to the hut and kill the cow that has been the only means of livelihood of the family. The servant did as instructed by his master, he killed the cow.
By the time the family woke up the next day and saw that their only means of livelihood was gone, they had to start to survive by other means that proved more profitable than the only cow.
Sometime later, the Chinese master and his servant past through that part and expected to see the poorly kept hut. No! It was no longer there.
The Chinese master approach the occupants of the well made home and asked of the family that once occupied an ugly looking hut on this exact spot. They replied they were the one. They narrated how they met their means of livelihood dead one morning. Since they had to keep living, they explore other opportunities around them it turned out to a huge success for them.
How many of us can relate with the lesson in the story? Are we really limited as to the opportunities to succeed? Are we likely blinded by our one sided expectation to success? Those who are not risk averts will always say “no risk no gain.” 



Categories: Articles

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: