When Failure Is Not An Option An Article By Tony Ogunlowo
‘When the going gets tough…’, sang Billy Ocean in 1985,’…the tough get going’.
‘Tough times do not last, tough people do’, said the late Rev Robert H Schuller, author of the bestselling book of the same title in the 80s.
At the time of the Apollo 13 1970 crisis in 1970, NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz was reputed to have said, ‘failure is not an option…we’re bringing our boys home’.
Man is the most resilient creature ever created; we can survive anything and bounce back, no manner what the problem; bankrupts are able to pick up and make better businesses, refugees who have lost everything in conflicts are able, after a few years, to rebuilt their lives, after terrible illness we are able to get back on our feet again. We are also the most adaptable creature and can live anywhere – out in space, in the wastes of the artic, the jungles of South America, the deserts of the Sahara – anywhere!
We are created to be able to withstand anything or endure anything without losing a speck of our personality.
Life is an adventure. You don’t know what is around the corner; one minute you can be rich and powerful and the next you can be languishing in Kirikiri prison, stripped of all dignity. Such is life.
The trick is to make oneself resilient enough to be able to withstand the slings and arrows that life throws at us whilst at the same time keeping the show on the road.
If an area boy can wake up every morning, under a bridge, to embark upon his day, not knowing which way it’s going to turn, hustling, stealing to stay alive, without giving up on life, why can’t we?
It doesn’t matter what you’re going through there will always be somebody else going through worse – and they manage to keep on going, so why not you?
No matter what ever life throws at us we must be able to ride the storm and carry on.
I personally have been to Hell and back, probably, more times than most people have had hot dinners but my resolute has always been the same – failure is not an option!
In a masochist kind of way I love it when things go wrong in my life. Why? Because it forces me to bring the best out of myself and prompt me to ask myself a very simple question – am I a loser or a winner?
Life is not for the faint hearted, the more problems I have, the more determined I am to surmount them and succeed. If there is not a way, you find a way! There is always a way out of any problem you might have. Don’t give up!
Losers cry and fall at every obstacle. A winner carries on, obstacles or not. Losers make excuses; a winner finds answers to problems, however difficult and moves on.
When we came into this world nobody handed us a handbook on how to live. Parents can try and teach us how to live and so also can society but it doesn’t mean we will live a perfect life; life is an unwritten tale with no rules and you have to make your own story up as you go along and of cause there will be pot holes in your path. And when things go wrong, which by the Law of Averages they will, you have to be ready with Plan B to pick yourself up.
I’m not a prayerful person but I live by a simple mantra/prayer – “nothing but the will of God will stop me, I’ve come this far and I’m going all the way!”
Alternatively, meditate on the poem ‘If ‘by Rudyard Kipling:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Bring it on!
In a race there is only one winner and lots of losers. Only one person comes first! I’m not a loser. I can run a race and win no matter what life throws at me. I don’t believe in crying over spilt milk; if the proverbial has hit the fan no amount of crying can change anything! Reassess your situation and get to work on picking yourself up! There is no such thing as a ‘no-win’ situation; there’s always a way and you need to find it.
In our modern society we face challenges and problems on a daily basis – even acts of God of which we have no control over.
We can either quit or win.
Ride the storm!
Things may be tough in your life right now, but it’s still not a reason to quit. Come up with an action plan, adopt a ‘swim or drown’ attitude, work hard and you’ll win.
Try and visualize yourself as a soldier. A soldier is given orders to carry out specific tasks that can be detrimental to his life and those around him. But he’s trained to disregard all this and carry out his orders irregardless; orders must be carried out no matter what – failure is not an option!
Learn to adopt a more militant approach to problem solving. Cast aside your ‘human side’ and become more ‘robotic’, programmed like a soldier to carry out orders. I call this the ‘swim or drown’ technique – if you don’t swim you are going to drown, simple as that!
They say it’s never over till the fat lady sings. As far as I’m concerned she can sing all she likes because it’s never over.
Believe it or not there is always light at the end of the tunnel.