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There is an argument which lives on: the naturally-gifted vs. the manufactured. Are those who are naturally talented less likely to work hard to achieve success? Does hard work drive success, whether you are talented or not? I have often stated, “Hard work pays off. Always.” But does it really? How about the kid who studies her heart out to maintain a C+ average versus the kid who never studies and gets easy A’s? I grew up with kids like both – I was one who endlessly studied and in my case, the hard work paid off with good grades. But was it my natural inclination toward the subjects I studied or was it the hard work which resulted in the good grades?
We can argue incessantly about how success is achieved. But I think Winston Churchill said it best, “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Though, I believe it is more of a climb than a walk.
Recognize that failure doesn’t represent anything other than opportunity. Opportunity awaits those who never give up – who have learned the art of dusting themselves off. And searching for perfection is just a haunting reminder of what we are not, instead of who we are and what we can achieve.
Less than Perfect is Within Your Reach
We crave perfection – so much so that we fail to see that perfect is around us always – in the form of our less-than perfect kids, our less than perfect spouse/partner or our less then perfect selves trying to achieve success at our less than perfect jobs. I am learning hard lessons in life and work – these lessons are simply little failures which pile up for me to climb on to reach success. I have to remind myself of this fact when life has its way with me or I feel ill-prepared to face the work before me.
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Churchill relentlessly calls my name when “no loss of enthusiasm” echos in my head.
It’s everywhere, but nowhere is it more present than in the fleeting grasp of failure. It is indeed fleeting. Be thankful for each opportunity failure creates. But stay just uncomfortable enough to move away from the behavior or thinking which brought you to that place. This is how we grow, develop, and ultimately succeed. This is how we climb.