Nature vs. Nurture?
The on-going discussion: 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 one who never studies and maintains a 4.0 or better? I grew up with kids like both representations. Personally, I 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 – those I selected or was it the hard work which resulted in 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. Because of the work, – because of the struggle, I have gained a greater appreciation of the success achieved.
Recognize that failure doesn’t represent anything other than opportunity. Another opportunity. Opportunity awaits those who never give up – those 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
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 colleagues or peers or our less then perfect selves trying to achieve success at our less than perfect jobs. There are hard lessons in life and work – these lessons are simply little failures which pile up for us to climb on in order to reach success. I remind myself daily of this fact when life has its way with me or I feel ill-prepared to face the work before me.
Churchill relentlessly calls our name when “no loss of enthusiasm” echos from his words.
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.
“Climbing to the top demands strength, whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or to the top of your career.”
– A. P. J. Abdul Kalam