“Give an example of a company experiencing financial trouble because of its promotional strategy?” Asked the professor. I gave an example of a company I had worked for in Uganda. “Please do not give ridiculous answers from countries that do not qualify for advanced European MBA programs.” He responded. I knew that I was in trouble because the only business-related work experience I had was in Uganda.
I was pursuing an MBA from the Greenwich School of Management, a branch of Hull University, Hull, UK. Most of my classmates were from Europe or at the least had experience working for European-based businesses. During the first semester I did poorly in the class assignments and presentations. I hardly made the required points to proceed to the next semester. The professors told me that if I didn’t learn about the European market, I would fail the degree. I had given myself a year to complete the program—acceptable by the college, because I didn’t have the extra money to pay for another year.
I sought for advice from one of my professors. “I think I’m already a failure.” I said miserably. “You can never fail. You will only fail to know that you didn’t fail. Even when we think we’ve failed, we still acted but just didn’t achieve our goals as anticipated. And that’s not a failure. Failure is an illusion.” He responded. I looked at him almost cross-eyed. I had no clue about what he meant. Desperate, I got a part-time job in a library and buried myself in reading everything I could get my hands on about the European economy. Long story short, I completed the degree in a year, passed with distinction and my thesis, earned me a “student of the year award.”
Moral of the Story:
I thought I had failed, only to realize that the results of my first semester were propelling me to work harder. And I concur with my professor’s wisdom. We never fail. Failure is just a word we come up with to summarize a process that has nothing to do with the real meaning of the word. The dictionary defines the word failure as a lack of success or non-fulfillment. When you consider what success means you realize that what we consider as failure is far from the truth. Success is being able to move from point A to B, internally or externally. Success can also imply committing to a promise made for oneself or for others. Success can mean progressing or moving through a process even if we don’t get to the end. Therefore, “failure” has no place in defining our actions plus the results.
It’s vital to understand that words as just that….words. Therefore, we shouldn’t be quick to define our emotions by recruiting words that do not necessarily reflect on our true emotions. Words can be limiting, misleading and/or mis-representative of the truth. Sometimes if not most, we can not define feelings because they are in-definitive in their nature. They have no shape, color, size or density — if we do not create visuals to represent them. So, the words we use to define feelings are just attempts to express ourselves. Just because you feel a certain way for not achieving a particular goal doesn’t mean that you are a failure. A conclusive definition of a feeling as a failure, is just a believed thought and nothing more.
A conclusive definition of a feeling as a failure, is just a believed thought and nothing more.
Therefore, let’s be slow in defining our experiences or outcomes. Let’s hold back from assigning meanings to our feelings. Let’s become observers of our feelings and see how long they can hold the emotional space in which they dwell. Mostly, let’s remember that we are not our thoughts, feelings or experiences. We are more; we are different; we are undefinable. Moreover, we have an immeasurable power within us, as us, that can help our human conditioning release the delusional tendencies and mental, plus emotional struggles we create: struggles that are lies and not based on truths.
Love and light