Dear Destiny Friend,

Nothing humbles a man like failure, and nothing elevates like success. Every human being aspires to succeed in every aspect of living including academic, business, career, family or personal life. In the same vein, everyone runs from, and detests anything called failure. The truth remains that we all experience both success and failure at one time or another in  the journey of life. It is inevitable. We can only attempt to manage them very well when they occur.

Life is dynamic and unpredictable. As human beings, we always strive to achieve success because we are aware of the doors and opportunities it will open for us. In the same vein, failure can expose you to the other side of life – humility.  By the time you taste success and failure, you will truly understand what life is because it will balance your understanding.

It is only a fool that will be exposed to wealth and turn around to use it to humiliate the poor or those he perceives as inferior despite being part of them during his humble beginnings.

A former Presidential aspirant in Nigeria, Chief Dele Momodu, once told me of the advice his late mother always gives him whenever he’s going out; “never forget the son of who you are and never forget where you are coming from”. The import of that message is never to forget your humble beginnings whenever you become successful.

There is this other mentor of mine, who was once a bus conductor in Nigeria when he was a teenager. It is instructive to note that this man now owns a private jet. This mentor of mine once told me, “I never forget who I am”. It may interest you to know that this man has a strong reverence for God. According to him, it’s God who has brought him this far and he’s always conscious of where he’s coming from. Again, what’s the significance of this message, having attained wealth in the society, this man understood that no condition is permanent, and as such success has humbled him.

Success and failure play an important role in our lives. Just like a certified pauper can become a man of means tomorrow, a rich man can become a poor man tomorrow. So, it makes no sense to brag about whatever you think you have today because whatever you think you have is somebody’s “toy” “change” or “rag”. Let me share some examples with you, Youssou N’ Dour, the richest African entertainer has an estimated net worth of $145 million, Aliko Dangote the richest Black man on earth is estimated to have $14.2 billion, while Elon Musk is estimated to have $220 billion dollars.

The interesting thing here is that while Youssaou N’ Dour is regarded as Africa’s most wealthy celebrity entertainer, George Lucas, who is the wealthiest entertainer in the world, is estimated to have a net worth of $6.5 billion. While Dangote is the most celebrated wealthy black man, Elon is celebrated as the wealthiest man on earth.

The interesting thing here is that both George Lucas and Elon Musk can employ or even buy over Youssou N’ Dour and Aliko Dangote. Do you see why nobody should brag about wealth or whatever they think they have because everything can be lost within a twinkle of an eye, after all, before Dangote and Elon Musk came on board, there were other great and wealthy people on top of the list.

Furthermore, even with Elon Musk being the richest man on planet earth, if Joe Biden, the United States President calls him for a meeting, he will be there within 24hours. The significance of this analysis is that despite Elon Musk’s money, which the American President does not have, President Joe Biden can humble Elon Musk with his position.

Failure on the other hand has been the major reason most people work hard. This set of people have tested poverty and know that it is not a good place to be. Both failure and success have their advantages and disadvantages. Your ability to manage them well will be the game-changer for your life.

While some people allow their success to get the better of them, informed minds are humbled by their success. While poverty stricken and myopic minds complain about their condition, “poor” progressive and rich mindsets don’t allow their situation or environment to limit them.

Question: where do you belong?

When you allow success to humble you, you will be celebrated. But when you allow failure to define you, you will be relegated. Therefore, to live a fruitful and productive life, the higher you go in life, the humble you should become. Never allow worldly fame to rule you. Never allow money and material things to control you, rather control them by making them your slave. My late dad will always say, he trained himself as a poor man and as a rich man, anyone that comes, he will accept it in good faith.

In conclusion, as we journey through life, embrace your mistakes, successes and failures, and see how you can learn from them to develop your future. Also ensure you pay adequate attention on your success to expand your territory.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via

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Henry Ukazu is a graduate of New York Law School. He is Founder and President at Global Empowerment & Mentoring Initiative. A trained life coach, prolific writer, and passionate youth advocate, he is also a highly sought-after public speaker. He is author of the acclaimed book, “Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success.

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