In the movie, A League of Their Own, we’re told the story of the first professional women’s baseball league formed during World War II. The outstanding athletes in this league endured hardships and even ridicule as they traveled across the country from one baseball field to the next.
At one point in the story, one of the league’s star players is about to quit the team just before the big play-offs. Her coach, naturally upset, says, “But I thought you loved baseball!
The player answered tearfully, “I do. But it just got too hard.”
To which the coach responds, “Of course it’s hard. If it wasn’t hard, everybody would do it!”
In a similar sense, I don’t believe that most people fail. They just give up.
The GOOD NEWS is success has been studied … and continues to be studied … in thousands of research projects. We know … we really know … what kinds of things guarantee success. It’s what I teach in my keynote, half, and full-day training sessions called UP Your Attitude: 6 Secrets for Power-Packed Confidence, Barrier-Crashing Purpose, and Turbo-Charged Achievement.
In fact, I find it somewhat amazing that historian William Gilmore Simms alluded to some of those “secrets” back in the 1800’s. He said, “The conditions of conquest are always easy. We have but to toil awhile, endure awhile, believe always, and never turn back.”
Notice his four points. And let me expand on them so you can use these four secrets to get more of the success you want … on and off the job.
=> 1. Toil awhile.
Basically Simms is saying there’s no substitute for hard work. There are very few overnight successes. And there “ain’t no free lunch.”
Consultant and author, Jim Rohn, put a business spin on this first concept of “toil awhile.” He said when you look at the highly successful individual in any field, you walk away saying to yourself: “It’s no wonder he’s doing so well. Look at everything he’s doing.”
And that, my friends, is a mighty good test of whether or not you’re on the journey to success. If I followed you around for a week and painstakingly recorded how you spent your time, what you did every day to advance your career or business, hopefully I would wind up saying, “It’s no wonder you’re doing so well. Look at everything you’re doing.”
Sometimes we fool ourselves, thinking we’re putting in the effort, when that is far from the truth. Take an unemployed person, for example. I’ve heard some of them say, “I sent out 100 resumes and I didn’t get any response. I did everything I could.” And they think they’ve put in 100 percent effort!
One hundred percent effort means that you’ve exhausted every possible opportunity for reaching your goal. If you’re looking for a job, 100 percent effort would include researching individual companies you want to work for, sending these companies personalized letters, calling to follow up, calling other people in the industry, and networking.
One hundred percent effort means telling a potential boss you really want to work for, “I’m sure you’ve got a lot of applicants here. But I believe so strongly in my ability to meet your needs, I’ll work for you for 30 days with no pay. Let me prove to you my enthusiasm, my integrity, and my ability. In 30 days, evaluate my performance. If it’s not up to par, let me go. But when I prove myself to you, I expect to be given the job and paid for the 30 days of work.”
Now that’s putting in 100 percent effort! That’s what it means to “toil awhile.” And that’s what you need to do to succeed in any area of life.
So what am I saying? Bottom line? Success is more often the result of hard work than the result of talent.
It’s an absolutely critical point. You’ve got to “toil awhile.” Don’t ever forget it.
=> 2. Endure a while.
What a nasty word … “endure.” Most of us … maybe all of us … would like to come by success the “easy” way. We want it to fall into our laps.
But that’s an extremely rare occurrence. Success comes AFTER we “endure” awhile 99.99% of the time.
The truth is pain, sickness, disappointment, setbacks, tragedies, death, and other adversities are always chasing us. And at least three or four times a year, one or more of those things will catch up to us or someone we care about.
So we’ve got to learn to “endure.” All the greats in every field of endeavor have learned how to “endure.”
As professional tennis player Bjorn Borg noted, “My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned a great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories.”
Could the same be said of you? That you never give up? That you endure?
Or do people … secretly behind your back … say you bail out when things get a little tough? Do they say you give up way too easily or throw in the towel too quickly? Do they point out the fact that you seldom finish what you start?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, let me urge you to hang in there … to “endure” a little longer. As John Quincy Adams noted, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” In other words, there’s power in perseverance or enduring a little while longer.
So there you have it … two of the four secrets of success: 1) toil awhile, and 2) endure awhile. In next week’s Tuesday Tip, I’ll address the other two secrets.
Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip, Issue 1001– I don’t believe that most people fail. They just give up.