“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15v58
“Press on. Nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; the world is full of unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~ Calvin Coolidge
Growing up you must have heard the story about the hare and tortoise that competed in a marathon race for the grand prize. The hare literally had no major competition but there was a tortoise that decided to challenge the hare. Knowing the tortoise’s lack of speed the hare laughed as he was ‘certain’ he didn’t have much work to do to win the race between them.
The pair lined up to start the race and as you know the hare would dash to take the lead while the tortoise just strolled along. The hare seeing that he had created a huge gap between him and the tortoise decided to take his foot off the gas, and take a nap with the idea that he would win the race anyway because the tortoise would never catch up. Or so he thought.
The hare woke up to loud cheers from the other animals in the habitat which he didn’t understand since he normally heard them when he was about to cross the finish line whenever he raced.
To his amazement, the other animals were cheering for the tortoise that had just crossed the finish line having finished his race. The hare was devastated as he had lost his title as the fastest in the community. It was a painful set of lessons that he had to embrace. What were the lessons?
Talent Is Never Enough
In your own circles, how many people do you know that have great gifts and talents but have not amounted to anything significant in their lives? It is a common phenomenon, right? This is because talent alone is never enough to realize your full potential. John Maxwell wrote a book entitled, Talent Is Never Enough, that explains that a combination of talent and the right choices helps you to realize your full potential. If talent was all we needed in life then everyone would be successful but that? not the case.
I’m sure you have heard stories about people that perhaps won the lottery and became instant millionaires. More often than not these people do not amount to anything in the long run because they lose all they have. Focused and constant action brings the desired results over a period of time. Anything worth having requires a certain amount of time to build. Getting a college degree isn’t a one week job. Most degree programs take 3-4 years. Building a stable business requires a number of years of consistent effort. The best approach to achieving worthwhile goals is one day at a time.
When you think you have reached the pinnacle of your career or whatever area of endeavor is the day you begin to deteriorate. In life we’re either growing or decaying; there’s no in between. The hare became complacent because he thought he had it all together, causing him to relax. While he did that the tortoise was getting better and better eventually surpassing the hare. Think about the times in your life when you have been complacent. If you’re in business you may have become so successful that you thought your competition could never surpass you. If you’re an ‘A’ student you may have stopped studying regularly because you thought you knew it all. Sometimes we are fortunate to avoid calamity through such actions but it’s good to keep in mind that it’s better to be diligent to maintain high standards.
This is perhaps the biggest factor that ensures sustainable success. According to Margaret Jensen, “Character is the sum total of all our everyday choices.” What we do on a daily basis eventually shows in our behavior. Talent alone will put up a false picture to other people but only for a period of time. Character shows that who you are and who you appear to be are one and the same, and that is the key to greatness. Be wise today and work on becoming a better you.
Be all you can be!