What The X Factor UK Finals Taught Arinola About Succeeding in Life


So many life lessons take a while to stick with us. They usually just linger until we are ready to understand them or pop out in a single moment of clarity and suddenly make a lot of sense. I can’t even begin to fathom why that happens but I experienced it recently.

I was watching a rerun of last year’s X Factor Finals and a couple things just made so much sense at the time. Surprisingly, most of them are things I already know. That is precisely the reason why I used to take them for granted.

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Rome was not built in a day

You have probably said this to people so many times. You always meant it but never thought of it when you got frustrated about your new business or your new blog. The two finalists for last year’s X Factor had been ‘gigging’ and working simultaneously for a total of about 22 years. Ridiculous right?! That is such a long time to spend working for something you know you want. Especially because expecting quick results is a very human feeling.

I felt that when I started with my blog and I wrongly assumed that readers would appear out of thin air. It didn’t take long to realise how wrong I was but knowing the mistake was only half of it. Writing this guest post is part of the very slow second half.

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There will be horrible days

Fleur East (the first runner up of the competition) said that there had been some days when she’d have no money – not even enough for the bus. I’m sure all successful people have tales to tell. There could have been friends who felt like they were being neglected. Worse still, teachers who felt the knowledge they had to share would do no good or parents who demanded that their own dreams be fulfilled. At the end of the day, I bet they would also admit that the feeling of achievement makes those dark days pale in comparison.

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Support from the right people is invaluable

Parental disapproval can cause a lot of problems. Fortunately for them, Ben Haenow (the winner) and Fleur East had the complete opposite. They were both proud to talk about the encouragement and love they had been getting from family and friends before and during the competition. They even got to have family on stage. It was clear that it made a whole lot of difference to them.

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Respect your competition

This also applies with those who are in your line of work. You do not necessarily have to be in a competition. Ben was quite shocked when he was announced as the winner. He found it hard to believe that it was possible for him considering how far he had come. I think another reason for his shock was that he knew Fleur had a very good shot at winning. Acknowledging that you are not the only one with your abilities makes you better appreciate both little and big successes.

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After it is all done, don’t forget all that happened. Stay true to yourself

After being declared winner, Ben was asked to perform and he did so in his usual humble manner. There was a calmness about him that was probably from knowing that the wait was over. Early last month, during his X Factor Tour he helped plan a proposal to a fan of his. It speaks volumes considering the fact that it so easy for fame and success to go to people’s heads.

I am happy that I saw the show again. It moved me find a balance between my overambitious goals and reality. Apparently, the second time was the charm.

I am Arinola, a young writer currently trying different writing styles to see which one I’m best at. I publish short stories and poems on my blog, The Day Dreamer. Here is the link to my blog: https://dreams4breakfast.wordpress.com/

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Great analogy! I wouldn’t have thought to view it that way!

    Liked by 1 person

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