If you are the kind of a person who sees positivity in every negativity, you’ll never get discouraged. However, If you are easily put down by failure, you will have a difficult time reaching your goals.

There are many different ways in which people define failure, but what’s important is for you to define it in the way that will groom you into reaching your dreams. If you look at it as not a failure, but a learning experience. There are many ways in which you can bring your dreams to life. If you convince yourself that you are a tributary, it doesn’t matter where you begin or how slowly you flow, in the end, you will reach the river.

It is that time of the year when the class of 2017 begin to reap what they sowed in 2016. South Africa is watching you guys. Your families, friends and neighbours are interested in knowing whether you passed or failed your matric. The pressure gets overwhelming, no matter how confident you are about your results. For some people, to simply know if someone got through grade 12, is not enough. They want to know how many distinctions you got, and if none, they express their disappointment. As if they did better in their schooling, you ask? Who are they to judge?

If you failed your matric, do not beat yourself up about it. Every successful person you know has failed at some point in their life. But, what distinguishes these people from the rest? They interpret failure as a step forward. Instead of taking their ‘failures’ lying down and reminiscing about their misfortunes, they dust themselves off and try different approaches as they move forward in their lives.

The most common mistake to make is to get caught up in negative thoughts like: “What will people say about my failure? What are they saying about me behind my back? How am I going to face them if I fail in the future?”

What other people think of you is their business, not yours. You will never control how someone else sees you. Don’t waste your energy on trying to please someone else, rather focus on what you think went wrong, and work on correcting it. Do not be embarrassed to tell people that you’ve failed. Only when you accept and talk about it, will you get the strength to move forward.


There’s a guy I know who did his matric in 2015. He attended after-school classes during the week and Saturday classes on weekends. He was an exemplary boy in his neighbourhood. When the results came the following year, people asked him the question they believed they already had the answer to. When he told them that he had failed matric, they did not believe him. The time passed, universities opened, but he was still seen at home. When it became apparent that the guy was not deceiving them, the word on the street was: “You’d think someone is going to school to learn, only to find out he’s just fond of his desk.”

This guy could have taken his own life or lived in isolation. But he did not, he moved on with his life. His neighbours saw him leaving home at noon and returning in the twilight. They never bothered to ask where he went or what he was doing with his life. Why would they? He was a disappointment to them anyway.

When people hadn’t seen him for a few weeks they asked his parents what had happened to him. They replied: “He’s doing an internship overseas.” The neighbours did not believe the guy’s parents, until their children showed them the social network posts of the boy they deemed a failure, with a prominent politician in Amsterdam. He was clearly happy and succeeding. He had proved all those people who assumed he was a failure, wrong.


The most important thing is to never let your misfortunes limit the chances of fulfilling your dreams. Remember to bring positivity into negativity. Nothing can stop you from being successful. Toddlers learn how to walk by trying their first step, falling, getting up again, and trying again. They fall countless times and cry when they feel pain, but they never give up trying to walk. You were a toddler once, and now you can run, so what is stopping you from becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be?

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