Thursday, November 20, 2008

Failures Are But Commas

Yesterday while talking about the importance of IP (or intellectual property) on the show with David Llewlyn from IP Academy Singapore, we were reminded that there are opportunities for us to seize even in the bleakest moments. Today, our guest was counsellor Dr Wolff von Auer from EMCC and our discussion looked at the current economic turmoil and how it's gripped Singaporeans, causing lots of anxiety and distress. How do we bounce back? How do we find outlets to fortify ourselves and care for our mental wellbeing through the grim times? We hope you took away some answers from our chat to keep you grounded as we ride out the storm.

Towards the end of our discussion today, a listener Nash called in to ask about failure, and in his case, failure in examinations. For the working adult, it could be failure in a project, not meeting targets or KPIs, in not clinching a deal or closing it. How do you view failure? Sure...we don't always achieve the ideal or expected results, otherwise the words 'challenges' and 'second chances' wouldn't exist. When we miss the mark, when we are off target, does that brand us a 'failure'? I see these occasions as merely commas, not a fullstop.

Commas indicate that the story's not finished yet, that there's more to it. While it can force a detour, it's not the end-of-the-road. I experienced a huge comma after completing my 'O' levels and barely scraping through it at ACS. I couldn't get into the polytechnic courses of my choice and ended up in a pre-u centre. It dashed my plans and self-esteem plunged like the stock markets in recent days. My self-confidence was shattered. While my peers would complete their 'A' levels in two years at Junior Colleges, I'd need an additional year. I ended up in an institution where I suffered a culture shock. I felt like a failure (and I probably looked like one in many people's eyes then). But through the experience, I dare say I came out stronger and more resilient to face the world of hand knocks. Those three years taught me a lot about entrusting my future to a higher power and of the cliqued 'taking one step at a time'.

I've walked quite a distance since those days. I didn't have a place in a JC, neither a place in poly, but that didn't mean I didn't have a place in life. It wasn't a fullstop, it was just a ',' and despite the harsh conditions we're in and slipping deeper into, I encourage you to look up and know there's still the '...' to your own journey in life.

1 comment:

Snoopy said...

Life is indeed a long journey that we all have to travel. The day the journey stops, it's the end of our life.

I totally resonate with what you wrote as I was once upon a time like you, maybe worse off. But its because of those adversities in life that I experienced, I am a much stronger person. Yup, resilience!

I am where I am today is cos of those adversities. I will never forget that!

Cheers!