I I our life stories, the antagonists, whether they are persons or situations, are there to create and present obstacles and complications. They are there to undermine physically and mentally. They are there to challenge our strengths and reveal our weaknesses. They are there to frustrate and cast doubts. Yet, I believe, they also exist to initiate combat, to wake up the giant inside each of us and drive us to solve problems that still baffle the world. But then, so many give up.

Over and over again, potentials remain untapped, dreams are abandoned, ideas discarded and one does not discover their talents because he/she either consciously or inadvertently swap character roles and begin to echo the sentiments and predictions of antagonists and sceptics. What a tragedy for human dreams and aspirations!

I however believe that where there is confusion, uncertainty, mistake, that we are all too ready to refer to as failures, there are great opportunities for learning. The question is whether or not we are willing to learn. It is for this reason, I take the view that this thing we call ‘failure’ needs to be put under forensic scrutiny for so often this notion is erroneously and prematurely applied. One of the great many classic examples is Thomas Edison who could have stopped after having a few tries at the light bulb. To the contrary, he found out 999 ways that a light bulb will not work. He did not fail. Rather, he was being taught.

Speaking from my own experiences and from the background of a child who could not read at age fourteen, if I had said that I was going to become a teacher, my antagonists and sceptics would have giggled as the always did. If I told them that I would write my own books and become a published author, they would have laughed out loudly. If I told them that I would become a member of the British Psychological Society, they would have thought that I was losing my mind. I also did not tell them that I would become a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, a visiting university lecturer in the faculty of education … be ‘Called to the Bar’ and become a barrister at law in England and Wales. As a matter of fact, I think if I had done so they would have become hysterical and perhaps take the view that I was I was sleep- walking.

But I did not tell them any such things. I could not. I did not know that I could accomplish all of those things. No! I did not know until I decided, against all odds, I was going to keep on trying. It was then that my potential began to unleash.

I believe that life experiences are meant to be shared. I share my education journey to inspire intrinsic- motivation, hope, courage, retrospection and laughter in students, parents, young adults and teachers and by extension, the wider community.