And yet, they succeeded… (1)

Nana Mahama 2 President John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 Source: Jeffery Amo – Asare

By Jeffery Amo – Asare

I recently watched a panel discussion between two communicators from the two biggest political parties in the country. One of the panel member indicated that the presidential candidate of the opposition party is a failure because he had been defeated in his two consecutive bids as presidential candidate and therefore cannot win the incoming election.

The following day, a serial caller called on the same platform and appealed to the numerous listeners not to vote for the opposition candidate all because he had failed and therefore he is a failure.

I was not surprised at all because in our part of the world, the word “failure” is tagged as an abomination and even seen as evil. Many resort to spiritualism when failure occurs. In my personal observation, I have come to the realization that most Ghanaians fail because we fear failure and have negative mindset on failure.

Failure is never a curse, failure is never evil, failure is never a defeat and failure does not mean the end of the road. Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” This is the motivation of this article, to furnish you with men and women who ever failed, but succeeded.

The next time things don’t go as planned, remember these people, they were in worse situations than yours and yet, made it.

Coco Chanel once said, “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” Historical rankings of Presidents of the United States, a survey conducted to rank the success of individuals who served as President of the United States and based on surveys of academic historians and political scientist or popular opinion, ranked this man as the greatest president in the history of America.

This man at the age of seven, together with his family were forced out of their home. At the age of nine, he lost his mother. Though he had desire to learn law but had no education. He lost his job as a store clerk at the age of 22. At 23, he ran for state legislature and lost.

He went into business at the same year but failed leaving him with a debt that took him 17 years to repay. He had a nervous breakdown at the age of 27. At the age of 29, he lost when he tried for the post of speaker in his state legislature. Two years later, he also was defeated in his attempt to become an elector. At 35, he was defeated twice while running for Congress.

At age 39, though he was elected to Congress, he lost his re-election bid.

At age 41, his four-year-old son died and at 42, he was rejected as a prospective land officer. At 44, he lost the vice presidential nomination and at 49, he ran for Senate and lost again. I have not personally heard of a man in this country who has failed miserably as this man.

I strongly believe if this man was a Ghanaian, he would have been taken to all the spiritual centers for breakthrough. Yet, in some manuscripts, he had been known to have said, “My great concern is not whether you have failed but whether you are content with your failure.” Truly, it is not failure that matters, but rather what we do with the failure.

Never be content when failed, it is a shadow to greater things. Finally, at 51, he was elected the President of the United States of America. This is the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “That some achieve great success is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” This is the picture we need to post on our walls. This is the quote we need to let our children recite every morning. This is the words of inspiration to boost the confidence of every child and persons in this country. She was born to an unmarried teenage mother.

At age six, she lived with her grandmother in a poor condition such that she her local children made fun of her because of her dresses which were made of potato sacks. At nine years, an onset of molestation by her cousin, uncle and a family friend began. At 13, after suffering years of abuse, she ran away from home. At age 14, she became pregnant but lost her son shortly after birth.

How difficult a life like this could end up in success if she had come from this part of the world. There have been several occasions where many young women in this country with similar background like this have ended up in worse situation. Yet, if we can change our words and inspire them, they would easily brush aside the past and be filled to achieve greater heights in the future.

All is never lost irrespective of the condition one find his/herself. Upon all that happened to her, this woman rose to be best known for her talk show which was the highest ranked television program of its kind in history even though she was fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore. She has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century.

She is known as the greatest black philanthropist in American history. From 2006 to 2008, it was estimated that her endorsement of Barack Obama, canvassed over a million votes for Obama in the close 2008 Democratic primary race. This is the woman who is known to have said. “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” She is Oprah Winfrey. Truly, failure only exist in the of fearful and defeated minds.

If today we can change our perception and concept on failure, we can really make a great impact in this life.

Writer's e-mail: Jefferyasare70@yahoo.com

Columnist: Jeffery Amo – Asare