I have been spending the past few days to reflect and review my activities of the past and the plans of the future. I can boldly say that the future looks more glorious than before. Will the road ahead be smooth? Will there be any adversity on the way? Yeah…but everything is there to prepare you for what lies ahead. The truth that you are still struggling to achieve that goal confirms that challenges are meant to come. The odd against you succeeding is on the increase daily. The difference between the successful person and the one stalked by failure is not the adversity – everybody has that. The difference is how we all respond to the challenges we meet on our way.
What then is the way out? Do we regroup and hit it hard again? Or we just lay it down and quit? Many times we have made a u-turn when our success is actually around the corner. Calvin Coolidge said,
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
An average successful person has witnessed failures at one stage of their lives. Just name anyone and seek to understand their past. You would be surprised at how much of failures the person had been able to deal with. Failure is never an end – not the final destination. What do you do when you are consistently met with setbacks? Do you give in and just quit? Or you try one more time? You can either see setbacks as the foundations upon which you build future success or the final excuse for failure. The decision is yours. You make the choice to follow through or to quit.
“The history of free men is never written by chance, but by choice – their choice.” Eisenhower
What a powerful truth. You can, and do, write your own history. The history you will leave behind, the legacy that you will leave for your children, is the accumulation of the choices you have made all along the way. I have realized that in life the ball lies in your court. It is all about the choices you make on a daily basis. I believe that:
- Anyone can have as much money as they choose to.
- Anyone can have the level of peace that they choose to have.
- Anyone can do anything they choose to do.
Every successful person makes the choice to use their setbacks as springboard through which they launch out. They never allow discouragement to set in. They keep working on their ideas and goals. They are persistent. And the end result? Success that we all dream of. If you must achieve your goals, you need this virtue. The dictionary defines persistent as: to continue firmly or obstinately. Persistence is a state of mind. In the words of Thomas Edison,
“Just because something does not do what you planned it to do does not mean it is useless… Reverses should be an incentive to great accomplishment. Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is just one more step forward… There are no rules here; we are just trying to accomplish something.”
It is therefore normal for someone to have obstacles before success. Even the dictionary puts the word obstacle before success. Obstacles are there to strengthen us and offer progressive measurement of our growing strength. Discouragement sets in when we misunderstand the purpose of obstacles. Persistence is a conscious decision. So, let us train ourselves to be persistent persons.