Failures? Never give up.

Have you ever noticed that you remember that difficult days more than the ordinary or good ones? Do you remember tough challenges or hard-won triumphs? Are you amazed by people who overcome all odds and countless failures and succeed?

Failures are the essential spices in the recipe of success. They are not the main ingredients, but they are needed for a lip-smacking successful dish.

“You have to get used to failures. Just like boxing, if you cannot get used to being hit, how can you win?” co-founder of Alibaba Jack Ma asked.

Building Alibaba is Ma’s destiny because of his “brilliant” record of getting rejected. That’s how Ma saw it as he recounted his experience to more than 3,000 students in Hanoi during his visit to Vietnam on the occasion of the 2017 APEC Summit.

In his response to a question by the moderator at the student forum, he talked about his grief at being rejected so many times. He couldn’t tell his parents about his failures and figured that God didn’t want him to join a company; instead, God wanted him to build his own company.

“There was no option, and that’s why I spend a lot of time with young people and students today to tell them how I got through. Go back home, sleep, tomorrow, try again.

“There was no choice. Let me tell you, 80 percent of people in this world have the same thing. If Jack Ma today isn’t CEO of Alibaba, and is nobody, nobody would read my story. Because we founded Alibaba, people say we’re good. [But] we’re the same. The only thing I did and still do is never giving up. Most people give up. If you give up, no chance. If you don’t give up, you still have a fighting chance.”

Ma concluded with this advice: “Young people, in our lives, there are always opportunities. There are always chances, (and) there are always failures. The important thing is how you survive failures. When you are rejected, how do you survive? This is what I have learned.”

Extracted from The Future is Small by TeamKanyin (Phoebe Wong)