Gaining admission into the University of Lagos was a tall dream that came true! I was very excited when I saw my name on the long list published in the newspapers. I wrote my mission statement – to graduate with First Class Honours in Mass Communication. This solemn resolve shaped my behaviour throughout my stay in school. It never crossed my mind that I would have a ‘carry-over’ or fail any course, but it happened.
It was in the second semester of my first year. It was examination period. Computer Appreciation was the last paper and it was not really a paper, but a practical test of our working knowledge of the computer. We were called in one after the other and given a simple task to do on the computer. When it was my turn, I was starting at the assigned task when the computer went off suddenly. I was troubled. The computer was restarted. As I was about to start my task again, the computer went off again. I reported to the invigilator, who was now impatient with me. He eventually asked me to exit the room. And that was it. I prayed and prayed that God would make me pass this course. When the results came out, I failed despite all my petitions to God!
I forgave myself for failing. I forgave God for not answering my fervent prayers. I hope this does not surprise you because there are lots of people who are offended at God. I forgave the invigilator who became impatient with me, asked me to get out and gave me the poorest grade. To rise above failure, we sometimes need to practise forgiveness. I decided I would not allow the failure to keep me down. I kept working to improve my grades and I saw the helping hand of God. Many times in life things don’t happen our way. I refused to be deterred by the unpleasant outcome. I received the Best Student in Advertising Award and graduated as the second best student in my department. I didn’t make the First Class Honours list, but I was satisfied with my performance at the end of the day. If you aim for the moon and you couldn’t hit it, you’ll at least to fall about the stars.
So many people today, that should have become inspirational success stories, are victims of failure. That is what happens when we take failure to the heart. Someone said failure is an opportunity to begin more intelligently. Learn to fail forward. Don’t allow failure dissolve your resolve. You are born to succeed and you will succeed if you keep the fire of determination burning inside you.
Today, when I look back and see how far God has helped me, I see the need for one to handle failure with courage and forge ahead with tenacity. Life is fraught with challenges, unforeseen events and crises. Unpleasant events might happen to us or to people close to us. And we begin to ask questions why God permitted those happenings. And because of our imperfections and the imperfect world we live in, failure is almost inevitable.
I took the course (Computer Appreciation) again and passed. That was the only course I failed during my first degree programme. Preparation activates the flow of distinctions. And that was happened with all the courses I took till I finished. I gave myself to preparation and it paid off handsomely.
Did you just experience failure? Or have you been going through repeated failures? Please do not be discouraged. Forgive God. Forgive yourself and everyone who you think might be instrumental to your failure. Do a sincere analysis of the reasons for your failure and come up with a plan to win. Get a winning strategy, but very importantly recognise that God is the Helper of the helpless. He will help you rise from the ashes of failure and shine as a star!