Ted Rogers, the Canadian Communications mogul who passed away few years ago, once noted: “It’s funny; the difference between success and failure often very little.

If you can stick with a goal for long enough, you’ll always get there eventually. It just takes patience, and motivation. Motivation is the key, but it’s not always easy, day in and day out, to find that motivation. Like all human beings, you’ve had many failures, but also many successes. So, I advise you to learn from them all. Whatever happened surely happened for a reason-behind every cloud is the presence of silver linen. I pray you, see beyond your failures and see the future-the brighter side you look forward to experiencing. Your imagination becomes your innovation which will lead you to your desired destination.

In his book, Empires of the Mind, Dennis Waitley shared how “in the 1920s, when Ernest Hemingway was working hard to perfect his craft, he lost a suitcase containing all his manuscripts—many stories he’d laboriously polished to jewel-like perfection—which he’d been planning to publish in a book. The devastated Hemingway couldn’t conceive of redoing his work. He could think only of the months he’d devoted to his arduous writing—and for nothing, he was now convinced. When he lamented his loss to the poet Ezra Pound, Pound called it a stroke of luck. Pound assured Hemingway that when he rewrote the stories, he would forget the weak parts; only the best material would reappear. Instead of framing the event in disappointment, Pound cast it in the light of opportunity. Hemingway did rewrite the stories—and the rest, as they say, is history. He became one of the major figures in American literature.

As much as possible, you need to squash negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Henry Ford once said: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”  It is time you started thinking about the benefits and stop thinking about how hard it is. Making a good grade sounds so difficult. Just thinking about it makes one tired. However, instead of thinking about how hard it is, think about how you can make your mark. Instead of thinking about how hard it is to make a good grade, focus on how good you’ll feel when your dream comes true, and how much better you will be-fulfilled.

In case you’ve lost your excitement, you need to build it up again, refocus yourself and redefine yourself. A time like this demands you read books that will motivate you about your goals. Reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So friend, read about your goal, when you’re not feeling motivated. I advise you to read inspiring stories. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. The fact is no man has ever been, is or will ever be an island. You should enlarge the coast of your thinking. Don’t ever limit yourself to only situations around you. As much as possible, I advise you to see beyond the walls of the classroom or your bedroom. Just get through the low points. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick to your goal and never give up.

However, one thing you must learn is that there is no better time to meet your goal than now. Like a Chinese proverb says, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step”. It does not matter how you start, what matters is how you end. So, don’t give up yet! Since you can’t build something on nothing, then I advise you to build on your successes. Look, every little step along the way is a success — celebrate the fact that you even started! Celebrate the fact that you could read for an hour for it is a step towards the attainment of your goal. ‘Rome’, they say, ‘was never built in a day.’ Celebrate every little milestone. Then take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Keep gathering momentum-don’t be satisfied with being a mediocre. Your place is at the bottom of the ladder but at the top.

I earlier said no man is an island-Get help. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both. You can hardly do it alone. Here comes the greatest motivation ever-the “G” FACTOR. Man’s effort without God’s blessings is nothing but vanity. Someone has wisely said, “It may be true that I have been a victim in the past, but if I remain one, I am now a willing volunteer.” No matter what our background was, when we trust our lives daily to God, and work through our past hurts to resolution, we can and do have hope for the future. It’s up to us what we do about the present. It’s not what we have or don’t have that matters in life, but what we do with what we have. God wants us to acknowledge past hurts and grow through them. In so doing, we don’t allow our past to determine our future.

One man said, “What has influenced my life more than any other single thing has been my stammer. Had I not stammered, I probably would have gone to Cambridge as my brothers did, perhaps have become a tutor, and every now and then published a dreary book about French literature.” This man who stammered until his death was W. Somerset Maughan, “a world-renowned author of more than 20 books, 30 plays, and scores of essays and short stories.”

  • If you believe in yourself
    – that you can win –
    you can. If you don’t, you can’t.

Friend, no matter how bad the situation appears to be; no matter how hopeless the condition can be; no matter how devasting your environment can be, just don’t stop trying-don’t give up. Stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit! It’s not over until you win! So, get up; take charge and be the best you can. Remember, quitters never win and winners will never quit. Like Winston Churchill said: “Never, never, never, never give up.”


Written by Joseph Onele and originally published on Glitz Plus Magazine’s maiden edition.

Joseph Onele is a Legal practitioner from Nigeria and practices at the renowned Olaniwun Ajayi chamber

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