Germaine Seraphyna.
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Success Or Failure

Friday, August 16, 2013

[WARNING: This is going to be a long, wordy post which may bore some!]

Earlier today, I was having a conversation with someone whom I regard as a mentor. It got me pondering on quite a few things. So during my lone bus ride back home, plugged into my favourite sentimentals, it dawned upon me that I should write up on it as a self-reminder.

Success or failure? It's a question we tend to ask ourselves from time to time. I believe there are many of us out there who has felt down because of certain setbacks you have met. But, the question is, "Do you still have the determination to counter it and take the path towards success?".

Now, to touch on a few factors that contributes to failure. There are generally 2 main factors; Internal and external. More on this below:


1. Complacency - Now, this killer word is capable from bringing you from sky-high or almost there to a zero! Many a times, we let our success or improvements get into our heads. We take it for granted to such extent that we end up neglecting to keep up with what we are doing. Not a good sign, I must say, because all our efforts previously will just come to naught with this continuous bad habit.

2. Character - Egoism, laziness, lack of self-esteem etc. I believe all these negative qualities are self-explanatory. Habits, once practiced long enough can become part of us, which in turn, equates to our character. And habits itself, are mostly picked up from external factors, which brings me to the next point.


1. Peers' Influence - This is something that many of us have been there and done that, I assume. We get swayed from our principles by our friend's actions and comments for fear of being ostracised by the group or simply because we choose to. Usually, we are aware of it's side-effects, but still end up doing it anyway.

2. External pressure - Admittedly, there are countless sources of pressure in fast-paced society like ours. Some of us may begin to crumble upon it being exerted and end up going downhill. In this case, I guess it's about learning how to handle the pressure and the difficulties we face.

3. Personal Upbringing - It's sad, but true. Some of us may develop traits contributing to failure due to upbringing. Because as a child, we start to learn. It's the stage where we absorb the fastest, so parents and guardians play a big part in educating us. As children, we unknowingly mirror the adults and start picking up traits from them, be it good or bad.

At this point, after recognising all these contributing factors, we start to reflect on ourselves and wonder how we can prevent it / improve on it. This is the time, the advice I've gotten, coupled with what I have reflected on, comes into place. It may not be the best advice, but I believe it's one of the stepping stones to true success.
How To Improve The Situation

1. Seek Advice From People - It's a good thing to constantly seek self-improvement. However there are times when we may not be the best person to judge for ourselves as there is something called "The Blind Spots". By seeking advice from people, I mean from people who genuinely care. They can be your family, your close friends and even your superior at work. Because these people who really wants the better for you will point out your blind spots and give you a more holistic view.

2. Evaluate - Now that we have received feedback, it is time for us to evaluate and weigh the pros and the cons. It is time to reflect on those feedback which were passed on to us. Do you think it makes sense? Be true to yourself.

3. Willingness To Admit One's Fault And Accept Constructive Criticisms - When we do ask for advice, be prepared for negative feedback. It is precisely because these people care, will they advice us on how we can make ourselves a better us. So embrace it and work on it! If we don't, then the first 2 points will just become obselete.

4. Self-Awareness - Very important point, which was pointed out to me. Yes, it's self-awareness. We have to be aware of our actions. It is something which many of us neglect. It is through self-awareness which will enable to constantly spot our mistakes and work on it. It is also through this point that may trigger us to stop ourselves from making the wrong move.

5. Perseverance - Changing one's habit isn't not going to be easy. For that matter, we may fail a million times before we get to our destination. Hence, without perseverance, what success is there to speak of? Giving up shouldn't be an option despite the tough route.

6. Humble - Always be humble and stay grounded. As mentioned earlier, complacency is a killer! No matter how successful you are, be humble, stay grounded. And never, ever let the success get into your head. There is a fine line between self-confidence and over-confidence.

Having all these said, I do not consider myself a successful person. In fact, I was just in the situation mentioned at the start of the post. But slowly and surely, I am striving to follow these steps towards a better me. (:

(P.S “The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ― C. JoyBell C.)

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