No one sets out with a mind to fail. A few are indifferent or ‘unconscious’ about happenings about how life goes for them. I wonder how such people achieve that feat. But generally, failing and failure isn’t the desire of any right-thinking person. In other words, we are all ambitious – whether we know this or not.
But can anyone be faulted for wanting to get on top and ahead? Success is sweet. If you have never succeeded before, this concept would sound very strange. Hmm,
I feel for you!
To give you a peek into the world of success, just watch an athlete or team win at a competition. The Olympics is my favorite on this matter. The athlete ascends the podium receives the Gold medal and brings the whole world to a standstill as the athlete’s national anthem is sang. I leave you to imagine the gush of emotions and adrenaline when the stadium and over a billion viewers across the world are fixated on the man and his moment!
Quite interestingly I have noticed that success is reproductive. People who have truly succeeded at something seem to perpetuate the art and act. The world is replete with such examples ranging from individuals to companies to armies to teams. Look around and I am positive you will find a number of them. On the flip side though, I do not expect to see this happen with an event of failure. Failure never need be final; sadly, it gets to be with some folks.
Comparing these opportunities, I am inclined to believe the natural choice goes the way of success. But you would recall my mentioning a set of people who are indifferent or ‘unconscious’ – about this subject of universal interest. This set of people are my concern. I have a brief word for them.
In my opinion, no one is truly indifferent or ‘unconscious’ about success or failure; at least not in the long term. For a while, such people either do so out of carelessness, tactlessness, ignorance, immaturity, nearsightedness, present comfort and maybe a dash of phlegmatic disposition. Whatever the case, this is for a while because we are made for dominion. An author pointed out that as humans we have deep within us an “urge to completion” or what is often referred to as a “compulsion to closure”. We wish to complete tasks and enjoy the sense of accomplishment.
After a while of indifference, people who were apparently unconcerned about the turn and course of events, wake up to reality, howbeit late. When they decide to make amends, some break the inertia barrier and in spite of all the time lost make it ‘there’ or at least close enough. To this set, I doff my heart. Sheer bravado! There are however others who never manage to forgo their past. This group has an interesting characteristic I’d love to scrutinize.
Have you noticed or been around someone who never seemed to get anything right – I mean one of the negligent stock? Have you noticed that such people are full of arguments? They appear to have an explanation for all their ills. They are not slow about passing the blame and buck. When men do not make the effort to defy the odds in order to succeed, they turn around to become quasi-philosophers. They propound all forms of theories.
Haven’t you heard a youngster unable to make it an examination or to the next level of education blurt “Education is not a race” mantra? What of the sloth who seeing her colleagues climb the financial ladder either accuse them of under-handed dealings or to the laughable interpretation, “The first shall be the last, and the last shall be the first”.
In a day, as ours, when marriages are seriously challenged, it is also a fact that some marriages are working. But haven’t you heard a woman who tore down her own home with her loquaciousness, cantankerousness, nagging and all such unseemly behavior conclude that “It is impossible to keep a marriage in this day and age”? Or their male counterpart conclude “Marriage is a necessary evil; a burden for every man to bear in his lifetime”?
We could reel out several examples, but I must add quickly that none of these hypotheses washes. Not one. If you are one, you are in a sorry group – and no apologies or sympathies from me. You’re free to pontificate and propagate your theories; you would find yourself cold and alone. Just in case you have never heard or known, understand that whereas “Success has many fathers, FAILURE IS AN ORPHAN”
Let me explain what I mean: with success isn’t only the reputation of wisdom but the association of many. True, these associates may be fair weather friends, but a failure hasn’t even the privilege of sifting among acquaintances; he simply has none. Of course this loneliness becomes another philosophical premise.
To restate an earlier point: as humans, we are designed for success; we have an innate appetite for success, victory and dominion. When we take responsible, active and urgent steps to slake this longing, we go away ‘high’ on accomplishment. Success silences critics; it reduces the length of speeches, expatiations and arguments. On the other hand, if we lie to ourselves under whatever guise, usually religious, that success is negative and desirable; such a fellow is readying himself for the orphanage of life – the theories nevertheless.
In Nigeria, when some Student Union activists come wanting to whip up sentiments against the school administration at a time when more than a year had been lost, colleagues would respond to their chanting with “O – Y – O!” meaning “On Your Own!” Pal, if you think explaining your inability to succeed or rationalizing your ineptitude would win sympathy, hear it loud and clear O – Y – O! Wake up Loser!