A guest article by Jerry Ajaegbo.
In clouded memory of what could have been, he thinks about the achievements and accolades that have unfortunately eluded him. And now, with his peers’ way ahead of him in life, he can only recount how so much he has failed because he does not “match up”. This was the story of ‘Tugo, as he is fondly called by loved ones.
Intelligent, smart, unrelenting, focused, meticulous – these are the words that describe ‘Tugo as a high school chap. Respected among his peers and by his tutors for being outstanding, the future was indeed bright as he could see it. It is often said that “you should surround yourself with people who dare you to become a better person” if you must experience unhindered growth. If only ‘Tugo had known, he would have made better choices with friends; this was the genesis of his first big failure in life, the price – not allowed to graduate from high school.
Fast forward to three years later, ‘Tugo finds himself within the four walls of a University and ready to make up for the wasted years prior. His first year was a bit tough, his grades could not prove otherwise as he still struggled to keep the right company. “I will not let my parents down again”, a promise ‘Tugo made to himself as he prepared for the university and surely, he didn’t. ‘Tugo’s clique of friends changed in the second year, so did his grades year-on-year till he graduated cum laude. ‘Tugo had learned the importance of Finding Alternatives; Failing has indeed taught him better ways to achieve his goals.
In the years that followed, ‘Tugo would continue to make mistakes and “fail”. Undeterred, as life deals him blows, he would learn and forge ahead. ‘Tugo may still not have “matched up” but he has since made reasonable progress from where he used to be. Einstein once implied that anyone who has never made a mistake in life has not actually learned anything. Thomas Edison understood the power of seeking alternatives when he said: “I have not failed; I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. These folks did not just fail, they failed in the right direction because they learned in the process. Today, ‘Tugo says “make those mistakes, make wrong choices, be proud in meeting obstacles… because they enlighten the mind. Most importantly, see FAIL-ure as Finding Alternatives in Life as you reach out for your dreams”.