Life is a journey of twist and turn. In this journey of life, there are several challenges and privileges. Sometimes all that you can see are pot-holes or bad roads. Other times, you can clearly see a smooth road. These together make the journey of life quite interesting. Every situation we find ourselves basically presents two options: success or failure. And so, it makes it arduous in terms of decision making. Oftentimes, in the seemingly impossible situation, people are willing to give up than to go up. However, should that always be the case? Confucius once said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” In our quest to encourage ourselves to know the other side of situations, we will consider these two brief stories.
Thomas Edison was an American Inventor and Businessman. He has to his credit many devices that greatly influenced life and the world. Some of his inventions include; phonograph, the motion picture, and the light bulb.[i] Hearing this about Thomas Edison, one can easily conclude that he was a genius or he had a good foundation/background in life. However, it will surprise you to know that he had it very tough in life. During his school days, he was very dull and so his teacher said, he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” Nevertheless, that didn’t stop him from making a resounding impact in this world. During his invention of the light bulb, he had 1,000 unsuccessful attempts. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”[ii] One of the famous quotes of Thomas Edison is, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how closer there were to success when they gave up.”
Several years ago, in Samaria, there was a great famine. It was very severe that mothers were eating up their own children. During those days, there lived some four leprous men, who were contemplating whether to leave their city or to stay – they didn’t know which will succeed. “Why stay here until we die? They said, ‘If we say, ‘we’ll go into the city’ the famine is there and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die also.’”[iii] In the end, they considered, what if it works if they should move forward over what if it doesn’t work. God through them fulfilled the prophecy of abundance spoken by the Prophet Elisha (2 Kings 7:1)
From these two stories, we can see that Thomas Edison and the four lepers had thousand-and-one reasons to throw in the towel when they found themselves on the bridge or verge of decision-making. Nonetheless, they didn’t allow their failures to stop them but they choose to consider the other side of their situation, “What if it works.” Their conviction and courage caused them to make a significant impact on their generation. Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of the United States) once said, “Courage is not having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”
Many people have great ideas, but the fear of, “What if it fails” usually stop them from putting their ideas into action. Personally, I believe that it is better to move forward with the fear of the unknown than to enjoy the cozy of the known. The fear of failure is an impediment to seeing the light (opportunity) in any given situation. It’s natural and important to weigh up the risks involved in any new opportunity. However, we shouldn’t allow the fear of failure to stop us from taking decisions, which leads us to a better future. Oftentimes, success is hidden in a particular kind of challenge and it’s up to us to discover the success with-in the challenge.
Whenever you find yourself in tough situations and the fear of failure grip you, I just want you to ask yourself this question, “What if it works?” Also, I want you to imagine the joy of seeing the completion of the project you have in mind, look at the people who will benefit from it, envision the glory the future will bring and let those things keep you moving.
Yes, you can! Give it a try. Yes, you can! Convert the thoughts into action. For surely, I know one day, you will look back and smile at the success you have made. What if it works, start today and start now.
God loves you and always want the best for you.
[iii] 2 Kings 6: 24, 28-29; 7:3-4 (NIV)