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As you prepare for success, make provision for failure, by Aisha M Auyo


As you prepare for success, make provision for failure, by Aisha M Auyo

One thing everyone wishes and works towards is to succeed in life. From infancy to adulthood, up to old age, preparation is being made on how to succeed in every part of our lives. But what we fail to do is to also prepare ourselves for failure. Yes, because it’s inevitable.

One of the pillars of the Islamic faith is belief in qadr, (divine will and decree) good or bad. This means that in life, good and bad will surely ensue, success and otherwise. It’s how life is designed. But why do we do nothing or very little in preparing ourselves and our wards for failure? Why are we shielding ourselves and wards from the reality of life?

This may be part of the reason why people cheat, as they can not afford to fail. They just have to win at all costs. Others commit suicide some go on drugs because they have failed in certain expectations or tasks.

So as parents and teachers or elders, we need to let ourselves and our wards know that failure _ not always winning, or not being at the top is okay. It is acceptable, and life does not end there. We can always try later, and do better.

READ ALSO: Are you still the person your spouse fell in love with? by Aisha M Auyo

Let’s show our wards and significant others that they can trust us to be there for them whenever they fail. Just as they will want to come to us with success stories, they should be free to do that with failure stories. This is what unconditional support is all about. We should be a shoulder to cry on.

We should also as parents accept that we sometimes fail, and let our kids see how we felt, and how we are going about it. The norm is to show the kids that we are always succeeding and doing great, just so they could be inspired, but we are not helping them by doing so.

In summary, these are the points I want us to reflect on and ponder.

1. Prepare your child for failure. We will always have good and bad days. Let them know they cannot always win, and it’s okay.

2. Let us always put in the back of our minds and theirs that “Over every possessor of knowledge is one [more] knowing”. Qur’an 12:76

Regardless of one’s intelligence, hard work, and luck, we will surely meet others who are better than us. Let us know that we are better than others too.

3. Failure is a learning process, to know what to do and what to avoid in the future. If one fails in a certain task, he/she may succeed in another task.

4. We should learn to compete with ourselves, not compete with others. Set a target for oneself, and work towards achieving it.

5. Life doesn’t end or begin with school grades, work promotions, or huge profits. There’s more to life than these.

6. Good relationships, emotional intelligence, compassion, contentment, and adaptability are what guarantee success in every life situation.

8. It’s lonely up there: If you cheat your way up, or compete to be better than everyone else, people will leave you with your success. No one wants to be with someone who always wants to be on the top by hook or crook. Cheating often backfires. And if it doesn’t, the people who made it to the top by defrauding others end up being very lonely and have no genuine person to share the success with.

9. Healthy competition is okay, being motivated by other people’s success stories is okay, but we should not cheat or compete. We are made differently. Our destinies unique to match our qadr.

10. Avoid Social media attention or fame: The pursuit of likes, followers, and validation has led to detrimental effects on mental health, values, and overall well-being. The obsession with social media fame has resulted in a culture of superficiality, narcissism, and moral erosion, hindering the progress and development of society as a whole.

Parents and teachers must take responsibility and invest in youth development, focusing on their holistic growth, character development, and real-world contributions. By doing so, we can create a future where youth can realize their full potential and social media platforms can be used for positive change, rather than a means of self-promotion and validation.

11. School, parental, and peer pressure

School positions are not necessary, Those numbers instill unhealthy competition among students. Instead of children competing against themselves, they are pushed to compete with each other.

A student should be encouraged to push himself harder so that he will get better grades, not in comparison with another student. Teachers should do as much as possible to adopt learner-centered teaching so that each student gets the attention they crave for.

Parents should learn to accept their children when they fail. We should know our capabilities, and we should not push ourselves and our wards to be what we can’t be. I know it’s hard to accept defeat or reward failure, but that is the moment when self-love and support are needed most. If we know we did our best, then we should not be disappointed.

Parents should stop comparing siblings. Each child has his/her unique quality. A child lacking in intellectual intelligence may score high in emotional or social intelligence. Let’s focus on our highs instead of our lows.

When the storm is over, parents or guardians can then discuss with the kids how to do better, with a reward or promise that will make the kid want to do better. As elders, we must learn to discourage cheating and encourage integrity and self-acceptance.

Aisha Musa Auyo is a Doctorate researcher in Educational Psychology, a wife, a mother of three, a Home Maker, a chef,  and a parenting/ relationship coach. She can be reached via aishamuauyo@live.co.uk.


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  1. Yusuf Nasidi says

    This is an amazing discuss bothering on our lives as individuals and as a society. It is paramount to fathom the scheme of life and how it’s applied. However, I feel it’s okay that everyone plans for success and don’t plan for failure, it’s natural, human, normal. We don’t need to plan for failure but we should condition our minds to accept failure when it comes. There are failures that come due to negligence or are allowed to happen for a reason, having a plan for it at the onset will give justification to avoidable failures.

    In terms of working towards a goal, seeking to get something, every sensible, faithful personality should struggle with two minds; fear and hope. I do not think it has ever happen to anyone to get everything as he wants without a setback at a time no matter how little. This is a reality of life.

    1. Neptune Prime says

      Thank you for this enriching feedback.

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