If China has Jack Ma, Hong Kong has Li Ka-Shing to be proud of. Before being known as the richest man in Asia with a $30 billion empire, Li was an out of school youth struggling to make ends meet. At an early age, he lost his father and was burdened with the responsibility of putting food on the table for his family. The chinese plutocrat started out as a factory worker, labouring for 16 hours a day.
Despite the hardships and lack of education, Li worked his way up the business ladder. His determination lead him to start his own company at 20 years old. Li was faced with many different challenges but still, he never gave up, and his story was later on coined as one of the most successful and popular rags-to-riches success stories, not just in Hong Kong but globally.
To succeed, one must learn to embrace failure, and not be scared by it. Failure holds valuable lessons for us, if only we are willing to learn. Thomas J Watson, the founder-chairman of IBM offers valuable advice:
"If you want to succeed, double your rate of failure."
Don't dwell on your failures and play the blame game. Avoid doubting your ability, and start learning from your mistakes. Re-focus on your goals, and just keep going.
Very often, we do all the hard work and when we don't see the desired results, we turn around and walk away - even though we may have been just one step away from success.
Jacob Riis, a photographer-cum-journalist summed it up well when he said:
"When nothing seems to work, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it - but all that had gone before."
The option of turning away and starting a new journey seems to be the easiest option, because in our minds, it takes away the stigma of failure. When you are banging away at the stone and it doesn't crack, what do you do? Take a shot at another stone, and another. Result? Lots of effort and zero results.
If you look at little babies learning to walk, they try and take a few steps, they stumble and fall. But instead of giving up on walking, they simply stand up and try again. And bang, they fall again - and yet, they keep trying. Eventually they walk. If little children were like us, they might give up after a few failed attempts, and then never learn to walk.
As adults, too often we are scared to keep taking those baby steps. A group of school children once asked Sir Winston Churchill what he thought the secret of success was. Churchill's response consists only of just seven words:
"Never give up. Never, never give up!"
That old truism about winners and quitters still holds value. Winners never quit, and quitters never win.
It’s time to adopt the Edison mindset. Fail often, but never lose sight of your goals. Sooner or later, there is bound to be light.
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