No overnight successes…

A quote that I saw recently caused me to think about life and a TV show that I occasionally watch. The quote was – “In most things success depends on knowing how long it takes to succeed.”  (Montesquieu)

Montesquieu probably mentally added, “and having the patience and perseverance to get there”.

I occasionally watch the TV show, The Voice. I usually watch only during the initial blind auditions because they feature the backstories of the contestants. It is in those backstories that one sees the patience and perseverance of these artists, many of whom are in mid-life and still waiting their big break in life. Just being on the show can provide that break and certainly winning it assures a different life from that point forward. The main take away from most of these stories is that these people continued to pursue their goal of becoming a professional singer through hardships and setbacks.

Life is full of things that take time and patience, plus perseverance to accomplish. Many people continue to struggle because they don’t have that patience or perseverance. They keep moving on to something else before they even get close to succeeding at the first thing.

From time to time we also see the emergence of a backup player in sports (maybe the quarterback, but it could be at any position in any sport) when they finally get their shot at filling in for an injured starter. Most of these backup players labor away in obscurity year after year, practicing for an opportunity that never comes.

It is important in life to recognize those situations in which success is a long-term thing. And to adopt a mindset of patience and perseverance, rather than being disappointed at the lack of immediate success. There are also some things which are on-going and for which a daily goal of success is required, with the patience and perseverance to accomplish that goal every day. Marriage comes to mind. It isn’t as if there is some goal of “success” out in the future that one can strive for. Successful marriages happen because the parties make a conscious effort every day to make them successful. Parenting is also a long-term effort, but with at least some milestones along the way that allow one to feel successful.

Every now and then in life, it is wise to stop and take stock of where you are, where you’ve come from and where you are still headed. You can take a moment to feel good about what you’ve accomplished and rededicate yourself to the tasks still ahead to achieve those goals.

So, take a pause today and think about where you are going and why. Be realistic about what it will still take to get there, but also be resolute in your patience and perseverance to achieve those goals and you will be successful.

Have a great day on your journey to success. Maybe I’ll see you along the way.

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