This story is quite old but I’m going to share it anyway. Growing up, some of you wanted to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants and the likes of those ‘reputable’ professions. Not me. I wanted to study English Language and become whatever people in that line became, for reasons best known to 15-year-old me. So imagine my disappointment when, after applying to my first choice school, admissions decisions were released and I did not make the cut. Was I devastated? You bet! But did I let this setback get the best of me? No way.
At that young age, I already knew not just what it meant to be rejected but also how to bounce back from every setback. My rejection meant that I had to try again after a year, which I did. The funniest part of this story is that while trying the second time, I went back to the same program where I was rejected. A couple of friends who know about this story never fail to laud my determination and persistence in getting what I want. It was my dream to study English language and I was not going to let just one rejection intimidate me. This same mindset is what I have continued to apply in my daily life. It doesn’t matter how many hurdles there are to cross at every point in life. What matters is how prepared, focused and determined you truly are to stay the course on your journey.
I once read a book by Brian Tracy and Dr. Peter Chee. It’s titled 12 Disciplines of Leadership Excellence and below is an excerpt from it;
“No matter how tough it gets, no matter how much tension or stress you face, stay the course and hang in there. If you refuse to give up, the sun will eventually break through the clouds and good things will happen for you.”
This particular excerpt from that powerful book changed my life in all forms. It pointed my attention to the reality of my success being up to me. Simply put, the two-letter word, ‘IF’ means that you have a choice. A choice to get back up and fight and another choice to give up. Those who pick the former are the ones who have mastered the strategies of winning . The other group of people might just not be too interested in success, or need a little push from people around them.
Rising above setbacks will take a lot of sleepless nights, courage and time. It might even require you to come up with new plans or restrategize if need be. There will be days you’ll get discouraged and feel like throwing in the towel but promise yourself that the next time those thoughts that make you doubt your capability creep in, you will remember these two things:
- Why you started in the first place, and;
- Where you are going and the lives that will be impacted by your story
Your motivation for starting a journey should be strong enough to keep you going. You can’t see what’s in your future right now but the path you’re on can give a glimpse of what is ahead. A lot of people, young and old will be inspired by your story and in turn be motivated.
Does your dream excite you enough for you to chase after it without giving up? When you find the right answer to this question, your setbacks will only be stepping stones to the great success that awaits you.