"SUCCESS IS NOT FINAL, FAILURE IS NOT FATAL; ITS THE COURAGE THAT COUNTS" Winston Churchil
Undoubtedly, the most precise and befitting advice in our current economic landscape, the above quote from Sir Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister and Statesman gives us a lot to think about, especially when faced with a challenge. His leadership skills brought the allied forces to victory in the Second World War.
Without going far into history, we can all relate to incidents, events, and unexpected transitions in the Corporate World where C.E.Os of Billion Dollar corporations face unceremonious departure for errors no one expects even from a lower level office worker.
We have seen thousands of multi-national corporations become extinct due to their complacence and indifferent attitude towards changing climate in the light of competitors’ moves against the tide. The stories of decision makers at Nortel, Kodak, Target’s expansion into Canada, and so many other businesses that failed to see the oncoming change bear mute testimony to the fact that we cannot afford to sit on our laurels when winds start to change. Keeping a close tab on the bigger picture, the evolving market segment, and your competitors’ operational tactics provides enough fodder for the right decision-maker to plan pro-actively. No doubt, there are other factors, both internal as well as external, that have a bearing on the outcome.
At the same time, we must also realize the significance of the yet untapped energy residing within each one of us. It is this vast reserve of energy, the ‘never-say-never-again’ spirit, which empowers us to devise alternate routes, when faced with unexpected roadblocks.
True genius of human race lies in being creative, imaginative, and productive, all rolled into one at the same time. Those with awareness of these three traits in their arsenal know no limits. Such individuals take both success and defeat in their stride, and keep forging ahead. On the other hand, those with lack of this realization tend to take transitory success as their permanent comfort zone and end up falling prey to ‘misfortune’.
The age-old advice from the wise shall always hold true: “Keep moving even if you are on the right track. Once stopped, you are bound to get run over.”
Success demands we stay focused and keep forging ahead no matter the result. Our instincts, analytical skills, planning, and preparation are the major contributory factors to the desired outcome to win over the negatives. At the same time, we must keep in mind that any complacence on our part will put us in the same bracket as the other despicable failures.
Success is more like a little sprout that comes out of the seed sown at a proper place at the right time and given due care to germinate. If we leave this little sprout unattended, there would be birds eating it away or it might die due to lack of water, shade, or even sun. Utmost care in helping it grow into a sapling will ultimately help that little beacon of success (in the form of a sprout) will allow it to grow into a fruit-bearing tree.
Looking at the above analogy it is not too difficult to understand why success needs as much care as the journey to this goal itself. There is no dearth of goals in life. You accomplish one and another is already waiting in the wings. Even more so, there is always someone else gunning for your position or your level of success.
The moment you become complacent and start to bask in the glory of the transitory success, your downfall will start forthwith. Always keep in mind the constant nature of change. The same rule applies to your hard-earned perch of success as well.
Treat your momentary success as a stepping-stone to bigger things and your momentum will continue. The moment you took your success as the final destination, you could start counting your days.
Let failure never dampen your spirits. True, those that never try new systems, new techniques, new strategies, and new methodology, never run the risk of failure. However, how many of these individuals, groups, businesses and/or institutions can ever stake a claim to be exceptionally successful either? I guess the answer is obvious!
Failure highlights our weaknesses. It gives us the power of introspection. Failures are the guides that tell us of lurking dangers in our quest for success. So long as we are willing to learn from them, the very same failures will be our most valued teachers.
On the other hand, those that take failure as the final call on their capabilities lose the urge to overcome their shortfall. They neglect to correct course and die an ignominious death, both mentally as well as financially. Failure empowers us to decide whether to allow it the unnecessary growth of cancerous proportions. It is our own decision to let failure be fatal or not.
To those discerning enough, failure is the flashing beacon that warns us of an oncoming train before we approach a level crossing. If we paid due attention, our brief stop would save us from potentially harmful consequences. If not, the result would definitely not be pleasant to watch. So, pay heed to the beacon of failure, stop, introspect, make necessary changes in your approach, and be on your way to a safe and successful journey.
It is the courage of decision-makers in going beyond the norm, seeing beyond the horizon and exploring uncharted territories, that brings success day-in and day-out.
Take the advice of a proven Statesman, Sir Winston Churchill and move forward to a new tomorrow, a bright new future and create opportunities where none existed before. Make people wonder how you could succeed where others failed.
Let there be a number of inquisitive faces that wonder how you thought of creating something that no one else did. Let others worry how your imagination prevailed where others of your ilk failed to see any opportunity.
Such success, although painstakingly achieved, would be a big slap on the faces of those that refused to cooperate with you. This will be the highlight of your SUCCESS, your legacy!