Life after first failure
At no given point will someone embark on doing something or pursuing a goal expecting to fail. However and in spite of that, we sometimes end up not achieving our set goals and objectives. This does not mean that we should give up. Rather, we should always learn from our mistakes and move on with a positive attitude.
A very clear incident when I once failed was when I embarked on a project to help needy students. My target was to help raise tuition fees for at least five students and I was really passionate about it. I approached my two roommates who agreed to offer their full support. Full of enthusiasm, I started my noble cause. I decided to move off campus to save some extra money. My partners and I also got permission to make some snacks and sell them to our fellow students so as to raise cash.
When it came to the actual implementation of the project, things fell apart as many quaked in the face of difficulties. I fundraised less than expected cash; hence I could not achieve my target of the number of students I planned to help. I realized that I had planned poorly and had been overly optimistic about the whole thing. My friends and I also realized that we had many other engagements as students hence time was a major constraint. Besides, I came to the realization that my two friends were only doing it for fun and were not passionate at all. Many of them withdrew slowly from the project immediately we started facing challenges. In the end, I was all by myself, exhausted and demoralized. I also realized that moving off campus did not help as I ended up spending more on transport. It was apparent that I could not meet my target as time was running out. Exams were also around the corner. I had raised too little cash for the project. As a result, I only managed tuition fees for one student – meaning I had missed my target by a whopping 80%.
The lesson from failure
The lesson from this massive failure was apparent: there is no substitute for careful planning. I had the passion but this was just not enough. I had trusted my roommate friends too much and exaggerated the extent to which they were enthusiastic about my project. I should perhaps have shared my idea with more people so as to incorporate more stakeholders. I was over confident that I would achieve my target; discounting the possibility of future obstacles. Raising school fees for five students was never a small task as I later realized. This needed careful planning, preparation, time and above all, the efforts of more stakeholders. I did succeed in helping one student, but I fell short and could not help the other four as I had planned.
Every time I undertake a project, I take as much time as possible planning and doing a thorough analysis so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past. I still plan to achieve my goal of helping needy students in future. I do not intend to fail again, after all, once bitten twice shy. Failure is an important lesson in the journey of success, as long as the right lessons are internalized (Smiley , 2013). History is full of people who failed severally before ever becoming successful. Failure did not deter their resolve, which necessarily means that my dreams are still valid.
Smiley , T. (2013). Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House Incorporated.
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