Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hard Work, Confidence, and This Last Trait Guarantees Success

Can success be guaranteed?  I am of the belief that success can be guaranteed, and you can be successful in any arena.  It just takes three things to reach any individual or professional milestone: Hard work, confidence, and...a quality that is part innate, part developed.  Unfortunately for most of us, this quality is the one we lack the most, and for good reason.

Because nobody likes the feeling of failure, and especially, repeated failure, big-time success is hard to come by.  We don't cultivate the last piece of the success puzzle long enough to let it have impact in our lives.  Consequently, the opposite trait, giving-up before a major breakthrough, is what we cultivate the most.

There have been examples in the past of people whose determinism, so dogged, allowed them to get over the hump of their repeated failures.  There's the notable, Thomas Edison, who would not give up trying to keep a light bulb lit-up long enough to be of practical use.  Even though the carbon filament kept burning out trial after trial, little by little diminishing the hopes Edison had for a potential product, the project was never scrapped, and the rest as they say is history.

You've probably determined by now that the character trait I am referring to, the one to go hand in hand with hard work and confidence and guarantee success, is none other than grit.  


I recently finished reading, The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough.  Mr. McCullough may as well have a time machine that turns on as you open the book and begin to read because his story telling takes you back to the era where flight was believed to be impossible.  One cannot begin to appreciate flight, and the role the gritty Wright bros played in creating a flying machine, without the necessary historical context, masterfully presented by McCullough.  This book is a must read for all inventors, would-be entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

The Wright brothers made a small fortune selling their flying machine, financing their experiments at Kitty Hawk and in Ohio with the cash-flow from a successful bicycle shop business.  They never went to college, yet their mechanical aptitude (and scientific process) was better than the best college educated scientists and engineers of their time.  Goes to show us once again that college is NOT for everyone.

But I come back to what made all of the difference in the Wright bros success, and what will make the difference in your own life when it comes to being successful.  Grit.  These brothers were extremely hard working.  Mr. McCullough is equally relentless in showcasing how busy these Wrights were throughout their lives.  The brothers were confident.  They realized without a shadow of a doubt that if anyone was going to solve the mystery of flight, it would be them.  Not someone else before them.  But it was their innate grit and developed resolve that ultimately made the biggest impact in their quest to create a machine that could easily take off, stay in the air, maneuver on command, and land safely.

Now I come to you.  Do you have true grit?  Can you keep going despite everyone calling you crazy?  That's what the Wright's endured for some time.  Constant ridicule.  How about being called, stubborn?  Are you okay with people, including your loved ones, using this adjective to describe your nature?  If not, you'll never be truly successful because you'll always cut short your trajectory.

The Wright's were not insane.  That's because they made adjustments every time they failed.  In fact, they kept a log book of all of their modifications.  I suggest that for the sake of your own sanity, you do the same thing.  Keep a journal of all the things you've tried, and write down why you think they failed each time.  That way you don't repeat your mistakes.

I've come to the end here.  So remember, it is not enough that you work hard and have confidence in your success.  The last ingredient must be added to the mix.  That's true grit.  I'd tell you, "good luck," in closing, can't count on luck...only what you can control.

Until next time.  If you liked this post, then you should join my ranks as a subscriber!  Thanks for reading. 

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