I know the title seems quite strange. We’re all looking for how to succeed and here I am talking about how to fail. Of course there are many things that make a person fail, but I just want to talk about two of them.
Fighting the Former Wars
When a person fights his former wars, he doesn’t change tactics. He revels in the glory of the past. In his thinking, “I’ve been succeeding like this, nothing tells me this strategy will ever fail.” Of course times change and new strategies are evolved.
A certain student politician interested in contesting for political office in his school noticed that the people who normally won elections normally played the sentimental card. They either try to emphasize the ethnicity factor or religion factor or some other factor that excludes logic. In former times, when voters would be swayed by such factors, he ought to have won the elections. He however did not realize that people had become tired of having the same kind of politicians who whip up sentiments, get votes and go into office to have unexceptional tenures.
For his mistake of not reading the times, he did not see the need to appeal to logic. He did not see that voters wanted to know how his government would reduce financial strain on students, how he would improve ease of learning, how his tenure would encourage innovation among students since they are in a place of learning, how he would improve relations between management and students, how his tenure would translate to visible, measurable gains.
Of course he lost the election to the candidate whose campaign showed he was logical, that he didn’t want to be moved by sentiment and that he wanted to make a positive mark.
Fighting the Wrong Wars
Similarly, when a man does not have sense of his priorities, he fights the wrong wars. It is essential to balance out a variety of things that will build him up. But to magnify a lesser thing above that which is greater is to fight the wrong war. It is what will lead a student to spend more time learning to make money than actually studying. It is what will lead the business man to advertise ready products long before production commences. He gets customers only to tell them the product is actually not ready, thereby losing those customers along with his credibility.
Inadequate appraisal would lead to wrong priorities. Possibly that person finds himself allowing emotions and not wisdom influence his decisions. That is why David said to his son Solomon, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all they getting get understanding” (Prov. 4:7) and also “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”(Prov. 3:5-6).