There is still life out there

Fail­ing ma­tric does not make you a fail­ure


FAIL­URE is the be­gin­ning of suc­cess. It’s an op­por­tu­nity to learn from mis­takes and er­rors of judge­ment. It is an op­por­tu­nity to re-ad­dress one’s strat­egy for life.

The real fail­ure is when we lament fail­ure and feel sorry for our­selves and want to hide from the world by us­ing al­co­hol and drugs, get­ting mar­ried too early, con­tem­plat­ing end­ing our life. These are not so­lu­tions.

No per­son has been suc­cess­ful at ev­ery­thing in life. More valu­able is courage to change. Par­ents and stu­dents must in­cor­po­rate strate­gies for re­view­ing the rea­son for fail­ure. Blam­ing your­self and judg­ing your­self and loved ones is prob­a­bly the worst strat­egy to pur­sue.

No one fails on pur­pose. There­fore no one need feel guilty and be pun­ished. Rather, learn­ing to cope with shame as a teacher is prob­a­bly the best strat­egy in life.

Re­mem­ber that those who fail only fail the stan­dard that oth­ers set for them. Your strengths may be in other ar­eas of life.

There may be many rea­sons for fail­ure. Un­di­ag­nosed learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, sub­stance abuse, poor sup­port from teach­ers and fam­ily, as well as fi­nan­cial rea­sons.

How­ever, prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant rea­sons for fail­ure lie in the realm of emo­tional trauma and the re­lated brain changes af­fect­ing mem­ory, mo­ti­va­tion, con­cen­tra­tion and judge­ment.

It may not be a per­son’s fault, but it is def­i­nitely a per­son’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to lov­ingly and hon­estly self-as­sess and rem­edy any short­com­ings.

Re­mem­ber also, that as you move into adult life, there will be mas­sive op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn skills that will pro­vide the scaf­folds upon which you will build your life.

De­vel­op­ing your ge­netic in­tel­lect, your emo­tional in­tel­lect and your spir­i­tual in­tel­lect will pro­vide you with greater hap­pi­ness and peace.

When you are young, you will need to let go of harm­ful pride that holds back your growth, and con­tinue learn­ing from oth­ers’ ex­pe­ri­ences, vol­un­tary work, tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion, read­ing and adult-ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses.

There are also many open-source cour­ses on the in­ter­net that can give you knowl­edge. Seek out and build your life plan.

Ev­ery­one is spe­cial and part of life en­tails find­ing your pur­pose and ex­press­ing it in your se­lected vo­ca­tion or oc­cu­pa­tion.

Many ma­tric­u­lants will be out look­ing for jobs.

The eco­nomic cli­mate is not en­cour­ag­ing for young­sters. All your ef­forts must be grounded in ed­u­cat­ing your­self to even­tu­ally be­come self-re­liant.

For South Africa to be suc­cess­ful, we need minds that are teach­able, flex­i­ble and hon­est, to build the small-, medium- and mi­cro-en­ter­prise sec­tor. And this will be­come a re­al­ity if we work and learn with pur­pose.

A large part of my life is spent re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing peo­ple to be­come smarter and bet­ter man­agers of their lives.

It’s cru­cial to build self-es­teem, re­move doubt and help peo­ple to de­vise a strat­egy for life while they let go of paral­y­sis caused by fear, in­con­sid­er­a­tion, dis­hon­esty and self-seek­ing be­hav­iour.

Ego and de­fi­ance are bar­ri­ers to change. Those we have helped have demon­strated the courage to change.

To those who’ve passed their ex­am­i­na­tions, we con­grat­u­late you and ex­pect you to con­tinue work­ing on de­vel­op­ing a holis­tic ma­tu­rity as you en­ter a new world of op­por­tu­nity.

Re­mem­ber that, for many of you, this will be your first taste of free­dom. Do not un­der­es­ti­mate this won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to ex­press your­self.

Have your life strat­egy de­signed be­fore you en­gage the world out there. Know your strengths and weak­nesses.

Pre­par­ing for col­lege in­cludes know­ing how you will con­trib­ute to the world com­mu­nity. You need to trea­sure your­self and know the world will be en­riched by you.

Take care of your health, for it de­ter­mines the ve­hi­cle that will carry you through your life. Be cau­tious of ex­per­i­ment­ing with sub­stances be­cause of the po­ten­tial for risk and dam­age.

Ev­ery ad­dict be­gan with an in­no­cent search for whole­ness. You be­come who you as­so­ciate with.

No mat­ter where you find your­self, pass­ing or not pass­ing, we must re­mem­ber that we are not alone on this planet: there is al­ways some­one to talk to about your fears and in­se­cu­ri­ties. Never lose hope.

Dr Lochan Naidoo is the pres­i­dent of the South African Fed­er­a­tion of Men­tal Health and the founder of

Jullo Ad­dic­tion Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre in Mere­bank. He is also a found­ing mem­ber of the Heal­ing Hills Psy­chi­a­try Hos­pi­tal in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg.

AP African News Agency (ANA)

IN STEP TURKEY’S De­fence Min­is­ter Hu­lusi Akar, cen­tre, and army com­man­ders visit troops in Kilis on Syria’s bor­der. Rus­sian and Turk­ish min­is­ters met in Moscow to dis­cuss north­ern Syria as US forces pre­pared to with­draw and Turkey threat­ened to launch a mil­i­tary oper­a­tion against Us-backed Kur­dish forces which con­trolled nearly a third of the coun­try. |

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