In my Life, Failure has Been the Best Teacher

In my Life, Failure has Been the Best Teacher

About 4 years ago, a gentleman reached out to me and noted how he looked up to me. I was surprised by that since I didn’t look at myself as successful in any way. In my success journey as mapped out in my mind, up until that time, I had covered only one eight of it. With a whole seven of eight to cover, I didn’t qualify as a person to be looked up to.

As that thought kept ‘eating’ me, I reached out to a friend of mine and I causally made the statement over a cup of tea, needless to say, I took the hot chocolate version. My friend noted that little I knew how many people would have loved to live my life exactly as it was.

Well, I looked at the many failures that had bombarded my life history and spoke to myself to the effect that those who wished to live my life ought to have been preparing very well for misery and pains that never came to the surface view they had of me.

I don’t want to make it look like I have been the master of failures and that I don’t know other people’s stories of failure as well, but at least I appreciate that for me, I have failed more than I have succeeded. The definition of failure and success is literal in this case.

Success simply means failing to achieve an accomplishment or objective one sets out. It doesn’t matter how big or small that objective is, not attaining it means failure. I will not go much into the details of those failures, but I will share 3 of them.


Funny as it may sound, I failed to figure out my passion in life at an early age. At first, I looked forward to being a pastor and preparing the way for the Messiah as did John the Baptist, but along the way, I lost the traction. Then I promised myself to be a professor because I thought professorship was a discipline like engineering, business, or medicine.

In the end, I became what I am. And what I am is so many things to so many people. Nevertheless, had I figured out my passion well at a younger age, I would have aligned my career and professional life appropriately. However, that failure wasn’t fatal.

Fast forward, I have learned and unlearned a lot of valuable lessons in carving my way back to where I would have loved to be from the beginning. Those lessons have made and built me. Sometimes you don’t know what you want until failure finds you.


When I plunged into real business for the first time in my life, nothing seemed stoppable. Beautifully though, nothing seems stoppable even today. If anything, that mojo is what I will want to keep with me for as long as I shall live.

But then, we burned our fingers and officially became case studies of pandemic disruptions and what -not – to – be if you desire business continuity in the face of any adversity. I saw dreams become hot air, but which, for our good luck, condensed to water eventually.

And now, the lessons learnt are the foundations upon which we stand. The power of small steps and the vitality of organic growth is where we have our shield. Most importantly, the strength of capital and liquidity is our endeavour.  Marketing, brand strength and having the best product sums up our relentless pursuit of excellence. The power is in between the lines.


All is fair in love and war. This statement gives us the autonomy to break the rules of the game as long as we get the ultimate prize. In my case, I failed by following the rules to the letter and those who understood the ‘rules’ of the game fairly beat me.

What that means in light of the African proverb that talks of something to the effect of a man who stares at a beautiful lady without uttering a word and ends up fetching water on her wedding day, is that I have fetched water severally pun intended.

But sometimes, without looking back, I look forward to the beautiful ones yet to be born. So, in this context, I gained by failing to say so. And in the words of legends, there is nothing insurmountable to character development in the world of love.

It is akin to being bitten by a snake. When you see a leaf and are unsure, you keep your distance.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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