Heera Training & Management Consultants

eNewsletter February 2010

Dear Everyone,

Hi! And how are you all? January was what I would call a ‘medium’ month i.e. not too much and not too little work. In fact it was just nice with a very pleasant holiday in Bangkok thrown in, with the whole family. The highlight was a talk I gave in INTAN (the civil service training centre), which was very well attended by very many senior civil servants.

I have also been glued to the TV watching the Australian Open Tennis tournament. I have no words to describe Roger Federer. His poise, grace, elegance and power was awesome! All I can say is that I am utterly privileged to be able to watch the greatest ever tennis player in action.

For this month’s newsletter I want to talk to you about why failure is the price you have to pay to achieve success.

Many times our biggest lessons in life come from our biggest failures or when things get really ‘rough’. For example we only learn to exercise and diet when we have serious health problems, we only give up smoking when the doctor warns us that we do not have much time to live, we only learn to study harder when we fail our exams. In that context, I do remember reading an article in a business magazine a few years ago where they asked prominent Corporate figures, the best lessons they had in business. Almost all of them inevitably cited their early business failures. They said that it was these mistakes which later formed the cornerstones for their future success. Ironically, success is a lousy teacher because it tends to tell us that everything is fine and creates this sense of complacency. Failure on the other hand forces you to reflect and change. It pressurises you to be creative and to come up with different strategies whether in life or in business.

We are all creatures of habits and when everything is fine, we tend to keep doing it (which may not necessarily be the best option) because we do not want to change. This is until we encounter failure. These ‘failures’ then became turning points in our lives. For example, a friend of mine was at a very low point in his life three years ago when he was retrenched from his job. The retrenchment however forced him to re-think about his career, life and everything else and he was ‘forced’ to start a business. Today he is a very successful business man and whenever he sees me he always says, “Thank god for that retrenchment’. ‘Failure’ in a sense forced him to ‘open new doors’.

From a philosophical perspective, I always believe that “failure" is nature’s way of making us stronger and better people. So when you ‘hit that wall’ or when you think that life is not worth living, or when you are really, really down, please remember that it will all pass, just like every storm. You will come out of that crisis, better and certainly more ‘successful’.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I do hope that all of you will have a great month in February and an early ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ to all my Chinese friends. Take care!