When I hear of the word ‘success’ what immediately comes to my mind is patience and persistence. This is because what I have come to realize after a lot of failures and successes in my life is that nothing great can be achieved without patience and persistence. For this reason I have titled this article ‘The Sure Way to Success: Patience and Persistence.’
Patience means to be ready to face problems, to be ready to accept failure, and in many cases to be ready to undergo suffering in order to achieve a desired aim.
Persistence means not to give up, to remain in the “battle” and “fight” till the end for what you believe or long for.
Most people, however, lack these qualities. They want success in their life, but they want it the easy way: they are not ready to sacrifice much of themselves, whether that is time or effort or whatsoever is needed. Naturally, such people give up trying easily and accept “defeat.” Such people usually find themselves to fail at anything, but surprisingly they rarely hold themselves responsible for their failure. They usually blame people or situations, and fail to see that they have failed only because they have not persisted enough towards their desired end and are not patient enough to endure going through difficulties.
Here is a motivational story about one of the greatest scientists and inventors, Thomas Edison, who happened to see his own laboratory aflame:
In 1914 a fire broke out in Thomas Edison’s laboratory. Machinery worth millions and all the papers pertaining to his lifelong research were burnt to ashes. Hearing of this tragedy his son Charles came looking for him and he found him standing by the side enjoying the leaping flames. On seeing Charles, Edison said to him: “Where is Your mother? Go find her and bring her here quickly; such a sight she will never see again!”
The next day, walking amidst the ashes of his hopes and dreams, the 67 year-old inventor said: “What benefit there is in destruction! All our mistakes have been burnt to ashes, thank God! Now we can begin afresh, all over again!” [Source: A Cup of Tea, by Osho]
I don’t know if the story describes a true event, but I know that it contains the kernel of truth about success, which is that success can be achieved only after tremendous amounts of effort and failure. Really, those who persists no matter what the obstacles, who are ready to go against the winds no matter what the cost, sooner or later are bound to succeed.
The story also implies that in order to succeed, one must be able to fully embrace failure. No matter what problems you face, it is in your hands to turn obstacles into stepping stones, to transform negativity into positivity, to make use of failure for your own success. Indeed, every failure only brings you one step closer to success. Every failure only eliminates a wrong way so that you can more easily find the right way.
Unless you give up your efforts, you cannot be said to have failed. Those who truly fail are those who give up trying. To quote Confucius, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
Truly, the sure way to success lies in patience and persistence.