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Opinions Thu, 15 Dec 2016

Persisting in the midst of failure

By Oscar Bimpong

"A Journey of Self Belief"

"If you don’t believe in yourself, then don’t expect anyone to believe in you".

Self belief is the cognizance of life such that it creates a positive image of you in the midst of the storms. When the storms of life rages and failure become certainty, self belief is what keeps you going. When everyone has written you off, self belief picks up the pieces and re-engineer you for the battle ahead.

From my definition, there is nothing like failure. Anything you pursue becomes a failure when you quit but if you persist, then it becomes a learning experience. Stephen Richards says “The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.” Hence bouncing back from failure is the real definition of success.

However the learning experience can lead to a situation where it seems as if you have married failure because its reoccurrences makes everyone feel you are in bed with it. That means no matter how hard you try to divorce failure, it becomes an obvious choice for you. This can be devastating and stressful in pursuit of your Purpose in life.

This is the definition of Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, the President elect of Ghana. The man that at a point in time, I taught he was married to failure. The fact is he got married to it considering how many times he tried to become the President of our dear Nation. It reached a point where it looked like the spell of failure seems to have been cast on him.

Starting his political career in the 1970’s, he has performed his duties with due diligence till date. His predicaments started when he decided to stand for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a Presidential Candidate during the 2008 presidential elections. Many said he came from the elite background and hence cannot appeal to the ordinary person on the street.

However I guess from an African perception, a man that has proven himself in the political and democratic dispensation of our country with a great family history of a father, Edward Akuffo Addo who was the Political Genesis of our country as a President and also part of the ‘Big Six’ who fought for Independence from the British, it was obvious that he was going to win the 2008 elections. It was a surprise to many when the elections went to a run-off and the late Prof. Atta Mills went ahead to win the elections.

Furthermore, most of his problems, challenges and struggles from my perspective started after losing the 2008 elections. People started questioning his age, his credibility to lead the party and things turned to a stage where people started calling him all sort of names from being short, not handsome, arrogant, old, violent and ethnocentric.

The worse that can happen to any leader is when the people you lead start to question your abilities. Some even said he does not have the swag to lead from the flag star house whilst others said he can never be president. They went further to question his educational background leading to a conspiracy to his Oxford Education credibility and other quarters reporting he had third class.

Things turned worse when he lost the 2012 elections to President John Dramani Mahama. What even made people to make a spectacle and a mockery of him was when he drove the Electoral Commission to court in an alleged rigging of the elections which was finally ruled against his favour. The pinnacle of failure continually smiled at him and for me, I taught he was going to bow down and kiss Ghana politics good bye after 2012.

This man has passed through a lot but he always held his head high above the mediocrity that looked like the Goliath of his Journey. He is a gentle giant with the courage of David. When everyone thinks impossible, he focus on the iota of possibility.

Hence it was a surprise to me personally when Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo surfaced for the NPP primaries for the 2016 elections. To be honest I started to monitor him closely considering his age and relentless passion to be president. This year’s elections to me have been one of the emotional, fiercely contested with some high and low moments. To be quite honest, I never thought Nana Addo will win these elections, hence there is a lot we can learn from this man and that includes;

Focus

Nana Addo is one of the most focused personalities that I have met in my life. His focus is like a laser, very sharp to its target. Delays in pursuit of your Purpose amidst negativity in the midst of failure can make any man down hearted, stressed and lead to losing focus. However this is what I have grown to admire about Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, his resilience to succeed against all odds is an inspiration to all of us irrespective of our party affiliation.

Being 72 years and fighting for the highest office of the land can be mind draining, physically challenging considering his age and it can breed a defeatist mindset considering having a lifestyle of failure, but this man fought this campaign battle with some extraordinary energy, with passion and a strong focus to deliver his policies to the people and nothing else. He never dwelled on the insults rained on him but rather focused on getting the crown.

Focus is therefore the key to success. They say challenges are what you see if you take your eyes off your goals. Hence let Nana Addo’s focus should be an inspiration to you. Relegate distractions, put a death year to those that don’t believe in you and make strong decisions based on your belief system and never compromise to win the hearts of your doubters. Success can delay but focus is what will drive you to that destination of success.

Patience & Persistence

Patience is always tested when failure becomes the king of the journey. Patience creates the platform for persistence to operate. The fact is people will laugh at your persistence if they tend to see that you are stagnant and no step of yours yields any success story. They will ridicule you and make you feel inferior and not worthy of what you are pursuing.

The fact is those that fight till the end will experience success. Those never start the journey or stop on the road in pursuit of their purpose will never have a story to tell like Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.

Persistence is the key to consistent failure. Your consistency is the overriding factor that places failure to where it belongs in life. Meaning a persistent person can fail but will always rise if consistency is a lifestyle?

Hence be patient in life, be persistent with an attitude of touching your dreams in a consistent manner irrespective of the negative sentiments that surrounds you.

Believe in your ideologies

Nana Addo has been criticized by his own party members; some have threatened him whilst others have questioned his style of leadership. The fact is he stood firm in what he believed in and never let anyone swayed him from what he stood for.

In life many people will criticize you, make you feel your style of leadership and operation is the worse to the extent that they can give you a million reasons why you will fail with your ideologies. But I want to tell you when the time is right; your failures will culminate to a success story. Listen to people but don’t let them dictate to you. Make decisions that align with your ideologies not what someone is forcing down your throat. Be strong and never compromise easily. Be firm and have a faith.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo is not a President elect by chance but through hard work, dedication, perseverance and a strong will to succeed against all odds. Can you stand the test of time in Pursuit of your Purpose in terms of waiting for that long for a breakthrough?

Success is not for those that walk away but for people that confront their Purpose irrespective of the challenges encountered or ahead of them. They fight the battle till the end. As Myles Monroe of blessed memory said, ‘die empty’, that is die with all your passion and the impact you want to make in the world unleashed onto people.

One advice I will give to the President elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo is that, he has nothing to lose considering his age; he should die as a hero by leaving a legacy that will live with Ghanaian's and Africa as a whole forever.

I will like to end by saying; success does not operate in comfort zones but in an uncertainty environment that is very uncomfortable. That is to succeed; you need to live in that uncomfortable environment the President elect operated until success smiled at him.

Susan Elizabeth Philips says, “Anything worth having is worth fighting for” and that is what Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo did, he fought a battle that he believed in.

Always remember it’s possible if only you believe.

Oscar Bimpong is aTransformational Speaker & CEO of Train2inspire Consultancy Email: info@oscarbimpong.com Web: www.oscarbimpong.com

Columnist: Bimpong, Oscar