Success doesn’t come overnight—nor does it come at a speed that can be measured in days or months. Most often, one’s major goals are reached through an extremely arduous and demanding process of learning, planning, course correction, and try-again-and-again-and-again.
Many people make the process harder because they lack understanding of how success is attained—and spend their energy looking for an easy step-by-step formula rather than finding their own path and focusing on it. Whether due to impatience or wishful thinking, the concept of success is often misunderstood as meaning “everything goes easy from there on,” a point that can be attained in no time at all if one just follows certain essential tactics and techniques. On the contrary, there’s no such thing as instant success; and if you want to be so successful as to be able to coast for the rest of your life, understand right now that it’s impossible to get that far. (Ask any high-powered CEO on blood-pressure medication.)
However, with the right attitudes, decisions, and actions, a far more satisfying form of success—an ongoing way of life that not only supplies all material needs but is full of joy, gratitude, optimism, and a sense of individual purpose—is within everyone’s reach.
The attitude that leads to right decisions, right actions, and success means self-understanding and appreciation; willingness to accept that things won’t always come smoothly; ability to expect temporary failure and use it as motivation to continue forward; and, most important, perseverance. Perseverance is holding steadily to one’s specific purpose and goals, regardless of obstacles. Perseverance is confidence in the road to success, and determination to continue on it despite repeated bumps and detours. Perseverance is also a rare commodity these days, when so many have an “I want what I want when I want it” attitude and are used to seeing guaranteed quick results once the right “program” is entered. The truth is, we are not computers, and the sum total of living interactions cannot be set according to comprehensible formula. Perseverance, combined with optimism and continual learning, is the only ultimate key to success.
And learning is frequently disguised as bad luck and setbacks. Struggle is essential to learning because it builds strength and confidence—qualities as important to success as is knowledge. As one learns, success draws closer within reach. With perseverance, one learns what is necessary to success.
What we learn en route is ultimately what matters most, the treasure we keep for a lifetime. Success—the end result of the hardships, obstacles, and problems we pass through in achieving our desires and dreams—is only the end that justifies the means, and never an end that proves final in the course of an earthly life. Forward motion, not in desperate hope of reaching a lasting rest point but with the aim of making each step fulfilling, is life.
The learning we acquire, no less than the success we achieve, is the happy ending that comes through perseverance.