Winners Never Quit

1 January 2017

How many of you are living your childhood and adolescence dreams? Two years back I went to Arbaminch University to give a bridge design course and on my way back in a plane, a 9 year old kid sat beside me. His mother and elder sister sat one step behind us. After some acquaintance, I asked him “What do you want to become when you grow up? ” He replied “I want to become a pilot. ” Then I asked him “What about your sister? ” He said “She wants to become a queen. ” The girl’s dream may look unrealistic in a country with a different form of government, but the point is that as kids, we were full of dreams.

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Our dreams get clearer and more realistic as we grow up into adolescence. One reason I love teaching is because I help shape the future of young boys and girls so that they attain their dreams. To be full of dreams is innate and natural. As Deepak Chopra, a world renowned mind body medicine expert put it in his book entitled “The seven spiritual laws of success”, we are purposeful beings – we are born to accomplish something and contribute for the better of humanity. There are certain things that you and only you can accomplish in this whole world because you are endowed with the talent or talents to accomplish it.

Therefore, the first step is to discover what your purpose is, what you are here on earth for. Mother Tereza was here on earth to care for the needy and share them love. Mahtama Ghandi freed India from colonialism peacefully. Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, etc. served their purposes. When you discover your purpose and do that thing you are on earth for, you enjoy doing it and you do it effortlessly and attain internal purpose (happiness and joy), and you will be successful and attain external purpose. Do we have the resource we need to accomplish our purpose?

Do you know what resource we need to accomplish our purpose? Anthony Robbins in his book entitled “Awaken the Giant within” says that the capacity of our brain is unfathomable and it can help us accomplish virtually anything we desire. Its capacity, speed, and quality of solution are far, far greater than the most sophisticated computer here on earth. Many neurologists call it ‘A Sleeping Giant Machine’. It is just to awaken it and make it work. You can do wonders using your greatest gift, your brain. Not to do so would actually be to rob the world of what it out to benefit from your contribution.

The second step is to have passion for what you do. Martin Luther King said “If you don’t have passion for something, you haven’t started living. ” Therefore, the essence of life is to be consumed by passion and make a difference. When you have passion for what you do, you always think about it, you plan it and amazing ideas and methods will occur to you that will help you accomplish it the best way. You will be unstoppable by challenges and adversities. People who succeeded and contributed despite challenges and adversities amaze me a lot. The first man is Thomas Edison, an American inventor.

He tried so many times to get electric bulb lit, but it wouldn’t work. He tried 1000 times, it wouldn’t work. 2,000 times, 5,000 times, 9,999 times it didn’t work. Did he quit? No he didn’t. His close friend said to him “Edison you tried 9,500 times and you failed. Why do you waste your time? Why don’t you quit? “He replied, I knew 9,500 different ways electric bulb doesn’t work, I didn’t fail but I got feed back. The 10,000th time, EUREKA! it worked. What an amazing persistence. Now, we all benefit from his invention. Glittering success is the prize to those who never quit.

Edison says there is no failure but only feedback. Using the feedback he was continuously improving and refining his methods until he achieved what he desired. The second person that amazes me a lot is Mr. Honda, owner of Honda Motors Corporation. 1938 he was a high school student. He quitted school and invested every thing he had in a little workshop to produce piston rings and sell them to Toyota Corporation. When he took his piston rings to Toyota, he was told they don’t meet Toyota standards.

Then when he went back to school, his teachers and fellow students laughed at him derisively saying hat absurd his designs were. That was painful, but did he quit? No. Two years later Toyota Corporation gave him the contract he desired to supply piston rings to Toyota. At that time, the Japanese government was gearing for war. Everything was to the war front and Mr. Honda was denied concrete to build his factory. He and his team overcame the challenge inventing a way to make concrete from other materials. After the factory was built and became operational, an adversity hit. His factory was bombed twice by US jet fighters destroying the major portions of the manufacturing facility.

Did he quit? No! he didn’t. Instead he used the adversity as an opportunity. He collected gasoline cans left by US jet fighters as raw material to produce piston rings, raw material he can’t find in Japan at the time. He was saying those cans were gifts from President Truman of the US. After overcoming all these challenges and adversities, another adversity, which is more severe hit. An earthquake occurred and completely destroyed his factory. Very very sad and painful. Back to zero. At this point Mr. Honda decided to sell his piston operation to Toyota Corporation.

Opportunities nock at the door of non quitters. After the war, there was shortage of gasoline in Japan and Mr. Honda couldn’t drive his car to even get food for his family. An enterprising man of mechanical and automotive acumen, he attached a little motor to his bicycle and used it. His neighbors and many others asked him to make for them also. A motor bicycle was invented, for which he received the emperor’s award. He later was exporting to Europe and the US. Now Honda Motors Corporation employs 100, 000 people both in Japan and the US. Mr. Honda says success is 99% failure. Winners never quit.

The third important point is to apply Continuous And Never ending Improvement (CANI) until we attain our goals. This is a miracle formula that helped the Japanese to become the second largest economic power in the world in two or three decades. Winners never quit but they continuously improve and refine their methods until they succeed. Another amazing man is Colonel Harlan Sanders, an American military officer. When he retired at an age of 65 with very little money in his account, he said I must do something for my country; his mentality is that retirement was not the end of productive years, but the beginning.

He knows one method of frying chicken and he decided to teach this method to restaurants so that they share him the profit they get from it. When he approached restaurants, they said to him they don’t need it. He kept on going to restaurant after restaurant, but didn’t get positive response. Did he quit? No. He kept on approaching restaurant after restaurant until he found some which said to him; let us give you a try. He was happy and it attracted market, they shared him the profit. He then established a world quality burger house Mc Donald, we don’t have it here in Ethiopia.

I used to have its burger while I was in Japan, a real quality burger. When he died, he bequeathed millions of dollars to his children. It is not too late even in your old age to accomplish your purpose. Fellow toastmasters and distinguished guests, definitely, each one of you in this room do not want to live like an ordinary and die like an ordinary, definitely. But desire alone doesn’t take you anywhere. I want to challenge you this evening to rise up and take massive action towards attainment of your goals. Do away with complacency. Don’t leave your destiny to strokes of chances.

Instead shape it and make it the way you want it to be. This world belongs to unstoppable people by challenges and adversities – to those who never quit. You have every resource to help you accomplish, to help you contribute and make a difference. Now is time to rise up and make a difference. So that towards the end you would see and say with satisfaction “Wonderful, this is my artifact, this is my contribution – job well done. ” And when time comes to depart, so that you would say “I have run my race, accomplished my purpose, now I don’t mind even if I rest with my fore fathers and fore mothers. “

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