Sign of a waiting taxi

Today’s message will be brief.

As is often the case, I have a story for you. Three friends were returning from football practice; they took a taxi which sped down the highway towards the city.

The driver was in a hurry and sped round the corner, right into an oncoming truck. Miraculously, nobody was hurt.

They climbed out of the cab and checked each other over to make sure there were no broken bones, no cuts, no bruises. They called the police and gave their statements.

Eventually it was time for them to go home. They stood by the roadside and exchanged looks for a moment, before one of them stuck his arm out… and stopped another taxi.

The moral of this story is simple. In these tough times, how many of us have tried our hands at doing something, example running a business and given up as soon as we started facing obstacles? 

How many of us have enrolled in tertiary institutions to do any old study programme, and quit after less than one year because the “lecturer has a grudge”? 

How many of us have vowed never to get married again? I know some people that have given up on gaining employment because they failed to qualify past interview stages; others have turned into permanent passengers because they failed their first driving test……6-8 years ago.

If you have done any of the above before, don’t feel bad about it. You’re actually part of a growing majority of Ghanaians who fall at the last hurdle in all their endeavours.

But the formula for success is actually not that complicated: Find something you love, and keep doing it until you succeed at it. It doesn’t matter how many times you fail, you only have to succeed once.

The three friends may have failed to get home in the first taxi, but it certainly didn’t deter them from getting right back into another and trying again. The truth is that, on most occasions, once you fail at something, the only way to move on from it is to go back and do the same thing again.

Retired Colonel Harland Sanders, creator of KFC visited several kitchens with his recipe before one of them allowed him to cook his Kentucky Fried Chicken for their customers.

Now, put yourself in his shoes: how many restaurants would you have approached before concluding that your chicken recipe probably isn’t that great, and you should turn your attention to something else? One? Five, Ten? The Colonel knocked on 62 doors before one said yes. 

If he had given up at restaurant number ten, or number twenty-three, or even number sixty-one, we wouldn’t have KFC today. Sometimes, you just have to start something, and just never stop doing it until you succeed.

My name is Kojo Yankson, and the path to despair is also the path to success. What you get at the end depends on how long you stay on it.