Many people believe success is measured by the outcome of what you are trying to achieve. Many people believe it is from the experience and knowledge gained. Those people may be correct. However, they are forgetting that success isn’t just one thing but a network of factors from perseverance to motivation to imagination.
To be successful is to gain and keep the perseverance while experiencing the event or project in order to get the favorable outcome. In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, perseverance is defined as a “continued effort to do or achieve something despite its difficulties, failures or opposition”. Difficulties. Failures. Opposition. Let us be honest and admit those things are all around for life is not easy. To put it simply: do not give up because it was “too hard” or “impossible” or give the “I can’t do it” excuse.
A little bit about myself: I am a writer. Not a published one but rather a struggling one. Since my freshmen year of high school I have been sending manuscript after manuscript to publishers and literary agents only to get one rejection letter after another for four years. So far I have three completed fiction manuscripts sitting on my computer, waiting to be in paperback form with crisp pages and typed in Times New Roman font. Have I given up? No. Were there times I wanted to give up and say “I can’t”? Honestly, yes. But I didn’t and don’t. Why? There is no such thing as the word “can’t” because anybody can do anything.
One may ask: where does the perseverance come from? My theory is that it comes from ambition and motivation. These two things work hand in hand with each other. Ambition is what rises from inside of us internally. This ambition, this feeling sets targets and goals for us. Motivation drives us to do the things we want to achieve these targets and goals because we feel the rewards we could reap in the future are worthwhile. Going back to my example of publishing. My freshmen year, I began writing and set a date to get published. The date was high school graduation. That is ambition. My motivation came from my creativity, my desire to share my stories with the world, and the royalties that could help pay for college (though it may not be much, something is better than nothing). These two things gave me the perseverance to send out my manuscripts to publishers and agents even after my deadline. The thought of others reading my work and enjoying them is what motivates me to continue on with my goal.
We have come to the bottom of the ladder, the foundation of success: imagination. Everything begins with an abstract image. C.S Lewis first came up with the idea of The Chronicles of Narnia when he was just a boy because his mind came up with a faun (half goat/half man creature) holding a parasol. That image stayed with him for forty years until he finally wrote it down. When we get the image in our brains, it’s abstract. It’s a thought. But when it is written down, when it is put in to action, it becomes concrete. It has substance. It will spark the ambition which will spark the motivation which will spark the perseverance which will finally spark the outcome, regardless if it’s favorable or unfavorable. As Albert Einstein once said: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Imagination is key.
As mentioned earlier, success is not just the outcome but a network of factors that impact the outcome. In all reality, perseverance, ambition, motivation and imagination are important but the true factor is by having fun. With fun, your journey is much more desirable and interesting. So to put it simply:
imagination + ambition + motivation + perseverance + fun = success
“And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!” – Dr. Seuss