We all aim for greatness in life, but most of us are willing to pay the price required to attain the excellence that we ultimately desire. The significant difference between highly successful and low achievers is their commitment and persistence to achieving their goals despite their challenges. There are no shortcuts to succeeding in life; you have to go the extra mile, most times take the stairs instead of the escalator, create a door for yourself when others see a wall and keep pushing until you achieve your goals. Success is never an accident and failure is usually not a coincidence. As author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn often said,
Overnight success usually takes tens of years of deliberate practice, commitment, consistency and self-discipline. The real test of how badly you want to achieve a goal is determined by the sacrifices, pain and challenges that you are willing to endure in the process of trying to achieve your goal. To fulfill any worthwhile goal, you must stay persistent and consider the end to achieve your ultimate objective. It will get dark at some point; you will go from failure to failure but if you don’t lose your enthusiasm as Churchill advised, success will be yours.
How Bad Do You Want It?
Motivational speaker Eric Thomas is famous for his “How bad do you want it speech”. He shares the story of a guru and a young man trying to know the secret to success. In his book, The Secret to Success: When You Want to Succeed as Bad as You Want to Breathe, Thomas writes about the encounter between the young man and the Guru.
“The story is about a young man, who wanted to make a lot of money and he decided to go to this guru. He told the guru that, “I want to be on the same level you’re on.” So the guru said, “If you want to be on the same level I’m on, I’ll meet you tomorrow at the beach at four a.m.” “The beach?”, the young man asked, puzzled. “I said I want to make money; I don’t want to learn how to swim.”
The guru said, “If you want to make money, I’ll meet you tomorrow at four a.m.”
The young man got there at four a.m. ready to rock and roll, he’s got on a suit, (he should have worn shorts), the old man grabs his hand and says, “How bad do you want to be successful?” The young man says, “Real bad.” The guru says, “Walk on out into the water.” So the young man walks out into the water (watch this), when he walks out into the water it goes waist deep. The young man is thinking,”… this guy is crazy… I want to make money and you got me out here swimming, I didn’t ask to be a life guard, I want to make money. You got me in…” The guru interrupted the young man’s thoughts and said, “Come out a little further.” The young man walked out a little further, the water was right around his shoulder area.
The young man is thinking again, “… this man is crazy, he’s making money, but he’s crazy.” The guru said, “Come on out a little further.” The young man came out a little further, the water was right at his mouth. My guy is like, “I’m about to go back… this guy is out his mind!”
So the old man said, “I thought you said you want to be successful?”
The young man said, “I do.” The guru commanded, “Walk a little further.” The young man came and the guru reached down and dropped his head in, holding him down, the young man starts beating and slapping the water. He had him held down and just before the young man was about to pass out, the guru raised him up. He said, “I got a question for you. When you were under water, what did you want to do?” The young man said, “I wanted to breathe.” The guru told the guy, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
Abraham Lincoln is acknowledged as one of America’s greatest presidents. Here is a brief summary of his career:
- Failed in business 1831, Defeated for legislature 1832, Failed in business again – 1833, Elected to legislature – 1834, Sweetheart died – 1835, Had nervous breakdown – 1836, Defeated for Speaker – 1838, Defeated for elector – 1840, Defeated for congressional nomination – 1843, Elected for Congress – 1846, Defeated for Congress – 1848, Defeated for Senate – 1855, Defeated for Vice President – 1856, Defeated for Senate – 1859, Elected President of the United States – 1860
Few people have suffered more personal, professional, and political adversity than Abraham Lincoln. He persisted in the face of failure and emerged victorious. Another president, Calvin Coolidge, described it very well: 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.
The model Mr. Lincoln gave us with his persistence is one we can remember in the face of our own setbacks. And what is most wondrous of all is that persistence is a quality that we ourselves control. You, and only you, can decide whether you will stay the course.
- Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Emotional Rollercoaster
- Our passions can put us through a rollercoaster of emotions. When we are anxious, our breathing probably becomes rapid, irregular, and shallow. By pausing to take some deep breaths, we could regulate our breathing and soften physical tension.
- The breath also serves as a guide to pull us into present-moment awareness. With each breath, we are right here, right now. As long as we stay in the moment, we avoid being overwhelmed by future-based thoughts and the anxiety they create.
- Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Where’s Waldo?
- Where’s Waldo is a series of children’s puzzle books that feature extremely detailed illustrations of various whimsical and chaotic scenes. Every inch of every page is covered with people, objects, animals, and intrigue. The job of the reader is to find the bespectacled man wearing is iconic red and white stripes. The Jolie fellow who is always hiding in plain sight.
- At the end of the Where’s Waldo Books, there is no reward for finding Waldo. The reward is the experience and the same goes for your life. Which path would you take:
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.