Not all failure is failure. Some failure provides an opportunity for self-examination. When you succeed, it is easy to misconstrue the pain of failure until it visits you, bruises your ego and challenges your operational brilliance.
It is when you fall and wake up that you know how to walk not to fall again.
The recent by-elections’ results offer the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a rare opportunity to assess where it has lost touch with the aspirations of the people it leads.
Why has the party lost some market share? Where do registered voters who did not vote stand?
Never let the opinions of others become your reality, Les Brown warns.
To some people, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) win in five wards and constituencies spells the end of DPP.
However, this is not the first time critics are writing obituaries for the ruling party. When former president Bingu wa Mutharika died, massive defections rocked the party as defectors thought it was over.
When his brother took control of the party, it looked like some inability to accept DPP was no more.
Two years on, the party regained power. DPP leaders must look into elements that propelled it to win and address emerging gaps in service delivery.
Therefore, Mutharika and the party emulate the eagle which gets excited in the midst of storms.
Some animals flee adversity, but the eagle loves gathering clouds. It thrives and flourishes when storms and winds blow.
Mutharika and DPP must use the recent loss to become better, wiser and greater Challenges are a stepping stone to success, not destruction
Party leaders must also reflect on how the eagle deals with misfortunes. When it grows old and too weak to fly as fast as it should, the bird retires to a place far away. There, perching on the rocks, it plucks out all feathers and hibernates until new ones grow.
The DPP must therefore shed old habits, the complacency it had. It must embrace a new vision—a cheetah mentality that entails no-nonsense clampdown on corruption, fraud and mediocrity.
The President needs to challenge himself, to surround himself with people who can challenge his ideologies.
The strong minds constitute a blast furnace that will purify his ideas every time they are being implemented. The time of listening to the same old people is gone.
There is need to write new chapters that will wing their way to the electorate.
Obviously, life is not without moments when one feels like giving up.
Mutharika should not allow the pain of defeat to disrupt his vision.
The recent defeat is the worst Mutharika and DPP have experienced since he won the presidency in 2014.
It is no end of the DPP vision for the country. It must be the beginning of its rebirth.
A comeback in 2019 is absolutely possible. The world has an amazing litany of comebacks – stories of personalities that saved their dreams from the abyss of dejection and failure.
Consider the story of athlete Derek Redmond. Competing at the Olympics in 1992, he pulled a hamstring on the track. That never ended his career. He went on to win three major world championship golds.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan had his own comebacks too. Motor racing champion Schumacher and US president Abraham Lincoln faced daunting moments in life. But they carried on and that made a difference.
Now is the time for DPP to show real character.
Mutharika must now enter the realm of legends – they are their own competitors, they never give up. The onus is on them to bounce back.
Determination and no fear are their ingredients to success. Impossible is nothing. Make the DPP comeback happen. n