|"I am a big fan of dreams. Unfortunately, dreams are our
first casualty in life - people seem to give them up, quicker
than anything, for a 'reality'." Kevin Costner
"Study hard." "Get good grades." That's what conventional
wisdom says. Success, we are led to believe, will be based on
natural ability or god given talents. But is this really the key
to success? If success is only reserved for the ones able to do
well at school or had been given the ability to memorize and
apply information, what would happen to the rest of us who lack
formal education, have little natural talents, physically
challenged, weak or poor?
Let's look at certain examples that challenged these
One day a boy was sent home from school. With him was a note
from his teacher to his parents. The message? This boy is too
stupid to learn and it was advised that he just stayed at home.
The boy was Thomas Alva Edison.
Another boy was rated the slowest learner in his chemistry class
by his teacher. The boy's name? Louis Pasteur.
Most people, reinforced by conventional beliefs will probably
call you unrealistic if you said that anyone, despite not having
good grades or formal education can achieve success just as much
as the talented few. You will be told to be "practical" and stop
your childish dreams now. Dreams are .. well, for dreamers.
But numbers do not lie. So let us analyze the number games a bit
more. These statistics answer it all:
Of course, I am not asking you to abandon
college and start working in a garage like Steve Jobs. All I am
saying is that success takes more than good grades. And the most
important ingredient of success is not natural abilities or the
talent to memorize facts.
- Half of all the
CEOs of Fortune 500 companies on average had C or C minus in
- 65 % of all US Senators come from the bottom
half of their school classes.
- 75 % of US Presidents
were in the "lower half club" in school.
- And more
than half of all millionaire entrepreneurs never finished
People who are not gifted in term of intellectual abilities
realize that this is their handicap, but they succeed in life
because there are certain traits that they all have or acquire
in their path to success. What are those traits?
When Bill Cosby dropped out of Temple University, he threw
himself into career in comedy completely. Starvation didn't
deter him. He said, "Once you've made that commitment, then your
blood has that particular thing in it, and it's very hard for
people to stop you."
People like Bill Cosby have fire in their hearts. Their burning
commitment brings the whole body to tap inner strengths,
resources and abilities that they did not know exist in
themselves. It gives them the spark and inspires them to achieve
what they want in life.
2. They Set Goals
The great Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova once said, "To follow,
without halt, one aim; there's the secret of success."
She is right. From the age twelve or thirteen, Steven Spielberg
knew that he wanted to be a movie director. So one day, after a
tour of the Universal Studio he put on a suit, brought his
fathers briefcase containing only a sandwich and candy bars and
walked past the guards. He lived in an abandoned trailer that he
found and using some plastic letters put Steven Spielberg,
Director on the door. Finally at twenty, three years after being
a squatter he was offered a seven years contract to direct a TV
series. The rest is history.
He had a goal, followed it, and adjusted his strategies until he
3. They love what they do
Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, a college dropout who ventured
into computing said, "I'm convinced that the only thing that
kept me going was that I loved what I did." When Steve Jobs
started his Apple Computers no one ever thought a kid in blue
jeans would revolutionize the computing world while making
himself an icon and a billionaire.
For others, nothing could deter them from pursuing what they
love, even a criticism from an authority on the field. Donald
Cram for example, was so lackluster in his chemistry major up to
the stage that his professor urged him to change his field of
study. But he insisted that he loves the subject and persisted
In 1989, he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Winners like Jobs and Cram are passionate and excited about what
they are doing. That is definitely one of the most important
qualities that lift one person above the rest.
4. They never give up
Another significant trait of these winners is the fact that
they keep on pursuing their goals regardless of the outcome.
They simply refuse to surrender.
George Bernard Shaw dreamed of being a great writer - despite
the fact that he had only five years of formal education. He
quit his job as a clerk to write; believing that one day he
would make it big. But the path wasn't easy. It took him nine
years before he could make a living from his writing. He never
gave up his dream even though his total income for those first
nine years was only 30 dollars.
But persistence has its rewards - he eventually became one of
the world's greatest writers, made a fortune from his writings
and eventually won the Nobel Prize.
5. They believe they can
Ben Franklin was the fifteenth of seventeen children of a poor
candle maker. Although he had a little more than a year of
schooling, he believed that he could still succeed in life. So
he learnt philosophy, science, finance, politics and four
languages by himself. Lack of schooling or money couldn't deter
him from being a great scientist and a statesman.
In short, many have succeeded despite the fact that they lack
formal education or are having problem getting good grades at
school. Success takes more than that. What you need is clearly
defined goals and burning passion to pursue it. You must believe
that you can achieve what you want and never give up. Stay
committed, and stay focused - no matter what happens.
Those are the real ingredients of success.
About the author:
Lela Iskandar bin Suhaimi is an entrepreneur who collects inspirational
quotes at My Inspirational
Quotes.com . He believed that success takes more than good
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