He is one of the few political leaders I honour even in death. He was determined, dogged and unwavering in his pursuit of a sublime life. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Lago said of Desdemona “She counts it a vice in her virtue not to do more than she is asked to do.” Such was the principle that governed this dynamic leader.
A seasoned historian once told me how this gem had declared to his classmates in high school after one morning assembly that “One day, I shall be elected President of the United States of America.” I think the devil was in their class that morning and eavesdropped over the conversation. Hell deployed her arsenal to ensure that his dream turned a nightmare.
He first lost his Job in 1832, but was fortunately elected to the legislature in 1834. He suffered the death of his darling wife in same 1834 and was struck with a nervous breakdown two years later. He was defeated for speaker of the state legislature in 1838, and later in 1843 he was defeated in nomination for state congress. Three years later, he was elected to congress. However, in 1849, he was rejected for position of land officer. He was also defeated for the senate in 1854, but he pressed on to pursue nomination for vice president in 1856 and was defeated. He again was defeated for the senate in 1858.
Obviously, you would think he should have quit and tried something different from politics. But on November 6, 1860, the tides turned. Calmness assuaged the stormy oceans of his life as his blight clouded hope became bright. He was finally elected the 16th President of the United States of America. Am talking about the great hero: Abraham Lincoln who unflaggingly fought against slave trade in America. The lesson in this story is clear: “No matter how many times you fail, don’t fail to try”.
The essential ingredients for success are: strategic hard work and courage to persevere in the face of adversity. Anytime I dream of devouring a juicy chunk of fried chicken I think about Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Maybe you have munched a delicious piece of fried chicken at a local KFC outlet but you were too engrossed to have noticed the picture of Colonel Sanders hung on the wall or probably you caught a glimpse of it. After all, he is one of the world’s most recognizable commercial icons. Did you know that before KFC became famous, Colonel Sanders passed through myriad of disappointments and rejections?
Sanders was born into an indigent family. But he was very rich in determination. At the age of six, his father passed away leaving him to cook and care for his siblings alone. He dropped out of high school in his seventh grade as a result of financial bankruptcy. He got into the U.S. Army at sixteen but was honourably discharged a year later. He got hired by a railway as labourer but was fired for fighting with a co-worker.
Sanders experienced a lot of ups and downs all through his life time but he refused to give up. Not until his late 40s that he began selling chicken dishes in service stations. His recipe was rejected 1,009 times! Before someone finally said ‘yes’ and that was the start of a million-dollar empire – KFC. Today, Kentucky Fried Chicken is the second largest restaurant chain after McDonald’s, with almost 20,000 outlets globally in 123 countries and territories as of December 2015. When asked the secret of his success, Sanders said “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labour, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me.”
I may not know what exactly you are facing right now. Maybe you have been rejected and abused by the people whom you trusted most. Probably, you’ve ventured into several businesses and they all crashed or perhaps you are a student and you have no sponsor to pay your tuition or you’ve been experiencing recurrent failures in your academics. God has asked me to tell you today that: It’s not over until you win! Don’t you know that great captains are made in stormy seas? Don’t give up yet! Whatever you are passing through today did not touch your tomorrow. If only you will walk with God and work hard, I guarantee you, your future will surprise you. Don’t deform your destiny with sin. There is greatness within you!
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God bless you!