Ma said people in their 20s and 30s are "the luckiest" because they still have so much to learn.
Instead of setting your goals and aspirations based on others' success stories, Ma recommended making yourself your own competition. You can do this by imagining what you hope to succeed in 10 years, a method that worked for him.
"As a young boy — even today — I never thought I would be here," he said. "When I look back, every problem I met when I was a kid benefited me," Ma said.
"I failed so many times, people probably know that I applied for so many jobs, over 30 jobs, all rejected, not even got a chance: 24 of us interviewed for a KFC job, 23 got accepted, I was the only guy rejected," he explained.
Ma also discussed the time he applied for a "police job" with five other people. He was the only person from the group to be rejected. Another time, he and his cousin applied for jobs as servers at a four-star hotel. "We waited [in a] long queue for two hours," Ma said. Although his cousin got the job, he received a rejection yet again.
While he said his mother shook her head at him, he refused to feel discouraged, thinking, "I know this is a training course for me."
Though he says he felt like a failure before reaching his 30s, Ma never gave up. He made himself his own competition, pictured what he hoped to accomplish in 10 years and did everything he could to accomplish that goal.
"No matter how smart you are, you will encounter mistakes," Ma said. "You learn from mistakes not because you will be able to avoid mistakes when these mistakes come, [when] these suffers come, you learn how to deal with it, how to face it."
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