The Greatest Comeback

In living out our potential and achieving life goals, there are moments we make colossal mistakes that dent our image, our sense of self-worth, our zeal, our relationships and so much more.

The other day I came across a story about Pepsi, the beverage company, and the mess it did while trying to salvage their market share in the Philippines. They decided to run a lottery campaign called Pepsi 349 at a time when the country was struggling economically and many were living below the poverty line. The grand prize of 1 million Pesos in the campaign was, therefore, a dream for many. In this campaign, the number 349 would only be printed on two bottle caps. The campaign got messed up when about 800,000 bottle caps were printed with that number. The error caused chaos and a huge headache for the company. A situation that was worse than losing market share. You can read more about it here.

In life, we are exposed to scenarios of costly, almost irredeemable mistakes. We end up thinking we can not stand anew, yet as human beings, our greatest advantage is our ability to rise again.

Great comebacks constitute of several things:

1. Belief

When you believe in something or take a certain value to heart, it gives you a purpose to keep trying. However, when that belief encounters an insurmountable experience or hurdle, emotions and other subjective variables cloud our judgment and ability to see what is possible, past the difficulty. We experience pain or anger or hurt or some other form of negative emotion which is sometimes stronger than the positive vibes of belief.

In reestablishing my belief, I have learned and lived through the fresh concept of “Learn the Lesson, Lose the Pain“. The peace of mind that you experience when you lose the pain allows you to see your lesson and make a comeback to achieving your goals.

2. Vision

In the wise words of King Solomon, when people lack a vision, they perish. Damaging mistakes often put a veil upon our eyes hindering us from clearly seeing and interpreting the vision that we have when we embark on something great. The greater the vision, the greater the risk, the more damaging the errors and the sweeter the victory.

We should not aim for small things because they bear a smaller risk. We should aim for greater visions because they have a greater impact on the present and future for all involved. No one has the vision of greater that you have and as such, if you don’t make comeback after a downfall or reason of flat-lining, those that would have stood to gain, lose more and so do you.

Making your vision plain for all (including your injured heart) to see, is a constant motivator to rising again.

New shoot from a dead tree stump to show new growth

3. Hope

A strong proverb has it that, “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life”. A comeback cannot be made in hopelessness. Hope allows us to see the positive things about our dreams and visions. Hope keeps us going. It is hope, that makes a mother hold a stillborn to her chest until she hears a small flutter to signify life. It is hope, that keeps a failing organ alive, long enough to get a donor.

Living a hopeful life does not mean you negate the real facts of life. It means you still expect good even in the face of opposition and no solutions. Hopeful living means you know the reality but you live above your circumstances.

Comebacks are not made at the level of disappointment and hopelessness. They are founded on hope and optimism that as long as one is alive, better is possible.

4. Community

A comeback is never hailed as a successful one unless you publicly reappear to the public eye that saw you fall or lag behind. Everything we do and everything that we are, only make sense in a community. Solo success is lonely.

In 2013 when I lost a pregnancy and all I wanted was to be alone. I had a group of friends who purposed to hold my hand through the difficult times. When I planned a trip to Mombasa with my husband and one child to just re-calibrate, they joined, we cost-shared the 5 days and 4 nights and ever since then, I cannot comprehend a family holiday without them.

A true community that helps in your comeback is one that cares for, and values you at all times. They will care for you while you are getting your act together and when you stand in success.

5. Forgiveness

2020 might be turning out like all the years before, for any number of reasons. The one thing, though, that should not characterize it, is the guilt you have been carrying over that one colossal mistake you made.

Forgive yourself, let go and take a good step to live life at a new level as evidence that you have made a comeback.

About the author

Wangari Maina

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