It’s been a while.
And guess what?
It’s exactly 40 days to CHRISTMAS! 🎉🎉🎉
I don’t know about y’all but Christmas is about the most exciting season of the year for me.
I love the glam, the jollification, the merriment, and of course Christmas carols!
Each Christmas season is a reminder of the purpose for our celebration – Jesus! And his presence in my life continues to give me so much joy.
Now to today’s post…
The second quarter of this year was a particularly trying period for me.
I wrote an exam –important enough to define the next phase of my career– but unfortunately, I didn’t pass it. 😞
Like anyone else, I’ve faced a number of challenging situations in my lifetime, including:
…getting involved in a RTA that ultimately led to the removal of my two front teeth
…being denied a visa
…breaking up from a romantic relationship (of almost 5 years)
…losing most of my valuables (a laptop, 2 phones, an ipad, and gold jewelry) to a home theft in one day
…and “quitting” driving school out of frustration and embarrassment.
But failing a major exam was a first…and the experience was very traumatic.
While in school, anytime I didn’t do so well on a test or exam, I had the opportunity to make up for it in the next block or semester.
Thankfully after the initial shock, I was able to register and rewrite the exam and to the glory of God, I PASSED!!🙌
Now the experience has taught me a few things:
1. Success is a lifestyle while failure is an event.
Success is a continuous journey of progress.
You’re not a failure if you don’t stop trying.
The first few weeks after the result was out, I was so disappointed in myself and carried the shame of failure around like a burden.
Thank God for the comfort of the Holy-spirit, and the encouragement from loved ones, I was able to bounce back.
2. Failure helps to foster empathy.
When I failed the exam, a part of my ego was shattered.
I was like…a whole me? How could I?
Failure made me vulnerable enough to admit my mistakes. Now I have realized that failing an exam isn’t always about how smart a person is.
I’m learning to empathize more when I see people struggling, and to be compassionate towards them.
3. Failure helps you to upgrade your capacity.
In preparing to retake the exam, I became fully aware that was sufficient for yesterday’s success, may not be sufficient for tomorrow’s success.
So I took a leave of absence from work, attended a revision course, and was able to devote more time to studying, and participating in group discussions.
Failure teaches us that every goal requires new strategic plans and actions.
4. You can’t always determine the result but you are always responsible for your preparation.
Despite designing a vision board with the intention of drafting a 3 month study-plan earlier this year, I got carried away with the many events going on in my life.
Sadly, my efforts to crash study didn’t work out as planned. And when it was time to write the exam, I wasn’t well prepared.
5. Failure is a part of the journey toward success.
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm,” said Sir Winston Churchill.
In retrospect, I’m glad things happened the way they did. Failing the exam gave me the chance to learn what strategies worked and what strategies didn’t work.
It also opened up some opportunities for me as I was able to meet with like-minded doctors.
Courageous people don’t stop trying, they keep learning.
6. Failure is a filter to refine your priorities.
That failure was also useful because it forced me to pay attention to the way I prioritized my goals.
I was able to recognize that not everything happening around me is worth my focus and effort.
I learnt to deliberately channel my time and energy to the things that were important to my success.
7. Failure helps to build faith.
Failure gets our attention. It sure got mine.
God can use the failures we experience to humble us, remind us of our limitations, and teach us to depend on him. If we allow him.
After failing the exam, I had no one else to turn to but God. And he gave me the wisdom to navigate that season of my life.
Failure made my faith in God to thrive.
I hope the lessons from my experience will give you a bit of perspective, in whatever trying situation you’re going through.
PS: All images are from the WEB.