• Skill Factor # 3- What School Did Not Teach Me That Life Always Asks Me.



    What School Did Not Teach Me That Life Will Always Ask Of Me

    Skill Factor # 3- The Art of Failing

    I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed- Michael Jordan.



    People are afraid to fail because they allow failure to define them but failure is not failure if you take it as a learning process and draw lessons from it and take the price you pay as school fees, it becomes a jewel on your road to success- Coach Tarie: The Wisdom Garden

    Has school taught you to fail? Failing is one of the greatest skills that you are supposed to master but we were taught to discriminate those who experience it. Failure to deal with failure is demonstrated in a video teaching from the 21st Convention Men’s Conference entitled, “Top 10 mistakes that intelligent man make with women”, by James, a social coach.  James begins with explaining the structure of the education system whereby learners sit for a test to get a 100% mark. They are told not to make mistakes and hence the learners embrace an attitude of avoiding mistakes. He explains how this would later affect men as they venture to relate with women. He identified how the highly educated accountants, doctors, technicians, engineers and others struggle with dating on the go. They are afraid to make mistakes and hence lose out on approaching the kind of women they want to date as they are always cautious of doing the right things. He explains the practicality of this phenomenon by the higher percentages of such professionals in his dating coaching sessions. 

    This explains how the school system that we have been through is full of gaps in terms of the kind of skills that life asks of, when one is out there to live their life.  School taught me that life was about success and failure and did not reward those who had failed. The exam centered education system oriented its people to hate failure and disqualify and relegate those who have failed from the league of success. This kind of approach in the system classified people as successes and failures based on exams and tests in certain subjects.  This in the end was called the key determinant of one’s destiny yet it in turn killed self-esteem on those who would fail, never teaching them the other side of failure. This approach would kill creativity, as because of fear of failure many would not even attempt anything new.

    I can cite a major area that we focus on in our parenting sessions.  I always joke about how parents view children in line with success and failure in our society. I have observed that when a child does something good fathers are ready to claim ownership and they have a popular phrase that they use in our vernacular language saying, “Mwana wangu iyeye” which means “That’s my child”. This is not the case however when a child does something bad, fathers are known to use the phrase, “Hona mwana wako”, which means “look at what your child has done”. This shows how fathers what to disassociate with their children’s failures and put the blame on the mothers. This create a sense of performance based acceptance that makes children to only do what will make them gain acceptance thereby killing their confidence. To avoid failing which will result in them suffering rejection they would rather not try anything new at all.  They have not leant to teach their children on how they can best use failure for their good and pick themselves out of it instead of trying by all means to avoiding it, which in turn means they will quit trying at all. It is those who have been pushed to their limits after failure in school and had no option but to find other alternatives, who generally have come up with entrepreneurship exploits.

    Brian Tracy in a presentation called, “How to build a great business”, talks about a case of one person who attended one of his seminars and went on to start a coffee shop that became very successful. When this man was interviewed about what he could advise young and upcoming entrepreneurs, he said, “focus and fail fast. The faster you fail and learn the faster you succeed because you succeed by failing and learning.  Learn quickly and try something new. Brian then further explains the importance of embracing failure quoting Thomas J. Watsons who said, "If you want to increase your rate of success double your rate of failure because success lies on the far side of failure."


    One has explained the wrong approach that many use when they want to venture in to something new. They use the following steps in the wrong order of Ready, Aim and Shoot. They spend enough time preparing followed by aiming through research and shoot only when they are sure of hitting the target. This tends to take longer and many will not even shoot into their idea in the end. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that the time that you will be certain of hitting your target never comes. The correct order of applying the steps as taught by many successful enterprises is; Ready…., Shoot and Aim. Whenever you think you have prepared enough, take your launch and then you aim after seeing your shot. It is easier to adjust from where you have gone wrong than to wait until you are very sure that you have aimed before you take a shot. It is those who invest too much in analyzing and research after finally launching who find it difficult to recover if they fail. They get so disappointed and because they think they have exhausted all possibilities through research they will not have the juice to rise from their failures.

    I will conclude this article by the story that is told of Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison was sent back from school with a letter that said he was ‘addled’ (mentally ill) and it is alleged that his mother lied to him of the contents of the letter. She told her that the letter said that he was too intelligent that the school did not have a teacher that matched his level of intelligence. In the end the mother taught Thomas Edison from home. It is this man that was taken from a background of failure who leant using failure to his advantage. Stories written about how many times this man tried on his way to invent the light bulb have differing conclusions with some saying he had 1000 trials while others say he had up to 10000 trials before he broke through. On this background, after ‘failing’ for so many times a story is told of an interviewer who came to him and asked, “Mr. Edison, how do you feel after failing these 10 000 times on your way to finally inventing this light bulb?” His response shows one who had mastered the art of failure and using it for his advantage. Mr. Edison is said to have responded saying, “May I correct you, I have not failed 10 000 times but I have discovered 10 000 ways that do not work.” This great lesson is what school did not teach us, using failure as a stepping stone and a priceless part of the equation of success. 

    Coach Tarie Coaching and Consultancy (COTACC) in partnership with the Arise Africa Cause is determined to work and see people master the art of failure to realize success in all aspects of life be it relationships, business, sport, politics or any other arena of life together with many other skills to be highlighted in this SKILL FACTOR series developed in the African context. If you have failed in any area of life you have a good foundation to build priceless success in that area. The richest man who ever lived got this lesson and amoung his wisdom nuggets he said,

    “ for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. [Prov 24:16] NIV

    Quoting the words of Thomas Edison, “In discovering the 10 000 ways that do not work I got to a point that I exhausted ways that do not work to the extent that the only way that remained was the one that worked”. Have you failed a number of times? You are on the path of success, because almost every millionaire business person has had an average of 5 businesses that failed before they got to the one that turned them into millionaires. 

    Successful people are not those who have not failed in life but those who have failed so many times and risen from their failures to an extent that they are no longer afraid of failure but are ready to take it as often as it comes and build on it until success begins to manifest- Coach Tarie: The Wisdom Garden.

    I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed- Michael Jordan.

    Coach Tarie-Pastor|Life-Executive-Entrepreneuship Coach|Consultant| LeadershipTrainer| Speaker| Blogger| www.coachtarie.com| coachtarie@ gmail.com| facebook/twitter/linkedin @ Coach Tarie| +263773 301 267/ +263 738 494 105
                                                                        


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