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Lota Ofodile: To Fail is to Not Accept Failure



dreamstime_l_43362096When I was a little younger, I never quite understood it when one of my closest friends always told me that people often channel their energy and anger, after failures, into other things usually more productive. This was until I encountered a peculiar situation myself.

At a particular point in time, during my first year in Senior Secondary School (SS1), Biology, one of the subjects I took, posed a threat to my grades, as I did not perform well and constantly got low grades in it. More often than not, it had a negative effect on my total average, and consequently, I began to dislike Biology as a subject to the point that I wished that I could just drop it completely. I therefore resorted to ignoring Biology and completely giving up on it; while focusing more on other subjects and scoring higher in them in order to make up for my laxity in Biology, and I soon embarked on the measures necessary for achieving this goal.

Not long after I made my decision, not only did my mother notice from my end-of-term result that I was not performing as well as I used to, she also noticed the huge difference between my Biology grades and those of my other subjects. She called me to ask me about it and I told her about my problem and how I intended to go about it. After arguing, disagreeing and discussing with her, she came up with a more suitable solution to my problem.

First, she questioned by abilities and will, and then she advised that I take the class as personal challenge, and try my very best to improve my grades. She was certain that even if I succeeded not because I was really interested in the class, I would feel so much better about myself because it was a goal I set for myself, and one I accomplished. So I decided to try it out.

With her advice, I took a whole new approach to the situation. All the resentment I previously felt was indeed channeled into something more productive. It pushed me to make more efforts to do better in Biology in order to improve my grades. I began to show more interest in the subject by participating more actively during Biology class discussions and I even began sitting in the front of class to ensure that my full attention was always given to the teacher while she taught.

Soon after, it paid off and the results were spectacular. It was no surprise at all that my Biology grades gradually escalated, and I soon began to top my class at the subject. In fact, I was nominated for the “Best in Biology” award in the following two years. I even began to enjoy the concept of Biology in itself, and today, my dream of becoming a medical doctor stems from my new found love for Biology.

This experience taught me that failure is indeed a step (or few) away from success, and rather than accept it as a defeat, we should turn the situation around and strive to overcome it. After all, many successful people today, like many of us, have experienced failure in one way or another, but what made the difference is how they were able to take those experiences and positively transform them. As the well renowned actress/talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, once said: “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.”

With that, I leave you with this short poem by Denis Waitley:
Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Lota Ofodile is a writer and blogger who enjoys having great conversations, listening to, and challenging different opinions. Her family and friends mean the world to her, and she believes that love is the greatest gift of all. She is a self-acclaimed Nollywood connoisseur, and a lover of God, food, and everything pink! She is passionate about healthcare and entertainment media, and is in pursuit of a career that merges both fields.


  1. 'Diddie

    October 6, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks, you made absolute sense. Failure should be teacher and reason to do better next time.

  2. neena!!!

    October 6, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks for this writeup!!! I was feeling somewhat disappointed today after going for an interview and passing through all the rigorous recruitment process only to find out it was for 50k. I was angry, because I was hoping to get something more with my master of arts degree, I almost felt like my enemy was a failure. It is well!!

  3. Moyezz

    October 7, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Lota, I’m so proud of you baby. You made sense too- Failure is a temporary detour not a dead end. I will definitely try to remember that when next things do not meet my expectations. Love

  4. GraceOfGOD

    October 7, 2016 at 1:42 am

    @Lota Ofodilem

    Good morning MADAM, THANK YOU for this GOOD post. Have a GREAT day and stay BLESSED 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. @nnazoro

    October 7, 2016 at 6:12 am

    This is indeed one of the most salient secrets/keys of life – learning to convert your failure energy into fuel for success. Most of us go out of our way to avoid failing only to run smack into it down the road. The sooner it settles with us that failing in itself is not failure until you fail to acknowledge and learn from it, the sooner we can start handling it differentntly. Thanks for sharing dear, it’s a powerful piece.

  6. Ijeoma

    October 7, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Thanks for this write up. It has certainly changed the way i’ll look at failure from now on. God bless you.

  7. Aline

    October 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Beautiful write up Lota. We should not give up at the slightest disappointment. This piece will motivate our kids to strive even harder when they hit a brick wall. Never give up! Never take NO for an answer. Good one Lota.

  8. Fabian

    October 7, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Amazing thoughts, clearly expressed. Thank you Lota!

  9. Nche

    October 7, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Lota great write up, i wish i read this several years back when i didn’t like economics it would have motivated me to change my views. I believe this will help a lot of people not just in academics but in every aspect of life. Im so proud of you girl!

  10. Lagosianatheart

    October 8, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Lota! Loved this. Well done and keep it up!!

  11. aj

    October 8, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Lota…thank you for this article on failure…It has given me motivation to look on the bright side.

  12. Ogbara mutiat

    October 8, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Well said!i ve bn able to grab some ideas too

  13. Bruno

    October 8, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Absolutely fantastic……she came almost made…

  14. Uwaye

    October 8, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Nice piece. Reminds me of me. I never fail, I just learn new ways to do it better.

  15. malacky

    October 9, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Very nice write up thanx sis keep it up

  16. ansa

    October 9, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    So much from one so young its heartwarming…..

  17. Biola

    October 12, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    So glad I came upon this article. I don’t think in Nigeria we look at failure as an opportunity to learn/push ourselves to do better, which should be the case as your article correctly points out. Abeg, someone please forward this article to Buhari; maybe it will inspire him to fix this economy, biko.

  18. Lota

    October 14, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks guys! I really appreciate it ?

  19. Nolan

    October 17, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Nice one

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