«He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding» (Proverbs 15:32).
Gonzalo Fernandez of Cordoba (1453—1515) was an officer in Isabel of Castile and Fernando of Aragon’s army, whose military success led his troops to call him the Great Captain. After having been prominently involved in the conquest of Granada, in 1492, Fernandez of Cordoba was appointed to leave for Italy in 1495 and stop Charles VIII of France’s army. However, on June 21 of that same year he was defeated in Seminary by Eberardo d’Obigny. That setback made the Spanish captain reflect and he carefully considered that bad episode and decided to reform his army and adapt it to new war strategies. His troops couldn’t confront the French, who were well outfitted with mobile artillery and infantry with firearms, with the old virtues of courage and honor, but rather with the assertiveness and accuracy of a modern army. And that’s how it went. His soldiers weren’t defeated by the French again. In 1496 he returned Naples to the Argonian Royal Household. However, success didn’t make him vain and he became well known as a master of battlefield strategy, endowed with calmness and the ability to lead in tactical deployment. Likewise, his serene spirit transmitted great confidence to his soldiers, because they were convinced their leader was the best and almost invincible.
Sometimes defeats may act as great detonators of future success. Everything depends on how you face adversity. It’s easier to insult, complain and blame others for misfortunes; but it’s best to self-analyze and evaluate what we’ve done wrong and find a way to correct it. That way what seems like a failure can turn into one of the greatest lessons in life. Likewise, personal victories should be taken very prudently, and we shouldn’t let ourselves be carried away when things start going well.
Have you failed at any of your personal projects? Why did it go wrong? It’s very likely you may have to make some adjustments, which aren’t always pleasant, but they are necessary. The good thing is that there are second chances in life, and, with God’s help, next time will be a different story.