A QUALITY of success in life is the courage to begin a project. The future belongs to the risk takers. Life is so perverse that the more you seek security, the less of it you have.
But the more you seek opportunity, the more likely it is that you will achieve the security that you desire. Whenever you feel fear or anxiety, you need to bolster your courage with persistence in the face of obstacles. Then switch your attention to your goals.
Create an exact mental picture of the person you would like to be, performing tasks the way you wish to perform. The mastery of fear and development of courage are essential requirements for success in life. One thing you must learn from world-renowned champions is that action is everything.
If learning about success were all that took great men of yore to succeed, your success would have been guaranteed. But that isn’t so. What it takes for you to succeed is a persistent and continuous action in the direction of your ambition.
Another single most important ingredient of success is persistence. Persistence is self-discipline in action. Each time you persist in the face of adversity, you build up in your character, the habit of persistence.
You also build pride, power and self-esteem, honing you up as a radiant personality. This develops in you an iron will, a quality that will carry you into success beyond your peers.
The history of human race is the story of the triumph of persistence. Winston Churchill is considered the greatest statesman of the 20th century. He lived a life of courage and persistence.
During the darkest days of World War II, when the German Airforce pounded Britain into pieces, Churchill’s resolute, bulldog tenacity kept the nation on in the face of adversity. John F. Kennedy said of his oratory that Churchill marshaled the English language and sent it into battle.
Later in life, after he had won the great war and was asked to address a class at his old preparatory school, Churchill stood before the assembly, saying with a strong voice: ‘‘I can summarise the lessons of my life in these words: never give in; never, never give in.”
What Churchill found, and what you will later find in your march through prosperity, is that persistence is the one quality that guarantees your victory in life.
Business moguls and outstanding entrepreneurs are all characterised by indomitable willpower and unshakable courage and persistence.
Orison Marden, in his book, Pushing to the Front, says: “There are two essential requirements for success. The first is, ‘get-to-it-iveness’ and stick-to-it-iveness.”
Indeed, your greatest asset is your ability to keep at it longer than anyone else. History has demonstrated that the most notable winners have usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed.
John Rockefeller, the richest self-made man of his days, wrote that the only quality essential to success is perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.
Conrad Hilton, an indigent salesman, who went on to build one of the most successful hotel corporations in the world, said: “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful men keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
Thomas Edison, the greatest success in the history of invention, failed at more experiment more than any other inventor of the 20th century.
He also perfected and was granted more patents than any other inventor of his age.
Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, talked about persistence in these words: “What this power is I cannot say. All I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.”
However, an interesting paradox in life that you need to be aware of is that you do everything to organise your life to avoid trouble, yet, despite your best efforts, you will discover that disappointment is inevitable.
Adversity is normal, natural and unavoidable. This is the paradox I am talking about.
Unfortunately, we cannot grow into the kind of people capable of scaling the heights and achieving great goals, without adversity.
Adversity is the test you must pass on your path to accomplishing anything worthwhile.
Adversity has the effect of drawing out qualities in you that would have lain dormant in its absence.
High achievers utilise adversity for growth, while mediocre people allow difficulties to overwhelm them.
Another remarkable discovery is that success comes one step beyond failure.
Our champion this week is Joseph Klemens Pilsudski, the Polish revolutionary and statesman, the first chief of state of the newly independent Poland established in November 1918.
Pilsudski was born in December 1867 in Zulow, Poland, now in Lithuania. He studied in Kharkov, but exiled to Siberia for his socialist views.
He combined nationalist and socialist views in his underground newspaper, Robotnik, and founded the Polish Socialist Party.
In 1908, he organised a private army to free Poland from the Russian Empire. In November 1918, Pilsudski was proclaimed the Polish head of state and first Marshal of Poland.
He led the Polish forces to defend Warsaw in the miracle of the Vistula in 1920.
He enacted a new constitution in 1921, but refused to stand for election and went into retirement.
Owing to growing disarray in parliamentary government, assisted by the Polish Socialist Party, Pilsudski became the arbiter of power in Polish politics and was named premier from 1926 to 1930, remaining minister of war from 1926 until his death in 1935.
A romantic revolutionary, a great soldier without formal military training, Pilsudski was a man of rare audacity and willpower.
He was very significant in European politics, but was poorly equipped to rule a modern state.
Pilsudski left Poland undeveloped economically.
He was buried in a crypt of Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, among Polish kings.