Prefect Chapel Speech

Fear of failure is certainly something we have all experienced at some point in our lives. Of course we all want to succeed, it is human nature, but we can often learn more from failure than success. ‘Short-term pain for long-term gain’ is a frequently used phrase to describe resilience, especially with regards to revision, and it is important to understand that even if we have the short term pain of failure, if we approach our situation with the right attitude we can improve ourselves and our results in the long run.

It’s often assumed that the path to success is straight and simple, that some people are able to be successful and for some it is simply not meant to be, but what many people do not realise is that even some of the most powerful and influential people in the world have had to overcome incomprehensibly huge obstacles and failures.

Take, for example, Steve Jobs, one of the co-founders of Apple, who in 1985 was forced to leave his own company; of course he returned to help lead Apple’s development into one of the biggest and most financially valuable companies in the world. On an admittedly smaller scale, I’d like to somewhat tie in with Harry’s car metaphor from a couple of weeks ago and talk about my driving test, well… driving tests as I in fact failed my first three. Failing three times was an incredibly frustrating experience but I went on to pass my fourth with no faults so I definitely learned from my previous mistakes.

As I said before, people assume the path to success is simple and that some people are predisposed to being successful. Unfortunately, this misconception is often carried into studies. Phrases I have personally heard quite frequently are ‘How do you get such good grades?’ or ‘I wish I could get those grades’. The truth is, you can - as long as you are prepared to put in the hard work, especially when it comes to overcoming setbacks and failures.

The path to success is by no means easy, and is littered with ups and downs but your goals are attainable eventually - you just need to use setbacks to help you grow and learn and, even though it is a cliché, always remember: short-term pain for long-term gain.