The path way of Failure is an Express route littered with truckloads of excuses, bulk load of reports & exceptional thrilling fantastic stories of ideas not implemented nor opportunities utilized.
Dr. Donald smith, a Zenith Bank manager residing in Los Angeles, California, wakes up on a cool Saturday morning buzzing with life after a stressful week with only one agenda in mind for the weekend: to trim the garden. That’s a hobby he had neglected for quite some time.
Filled with enthusiasm he hurls his tools into the garden and steps into the sitting room to take a sip of water, he meets his son Teddy watching the soccer league which coincidentally happens to be his beloved team Barcelona.
He joins him for a while to catch a glimpse of the action, after all a minute of soccer won’t hurt. A minute gradually extends to an hour and gradually the sun sets, the day gone, mission aborted, postponed till the next weekend.
Mr. Mike, a newly recruited graduate assistant in the Department of Psychology, Landmark University, steps into the office on a busy Monday morning. On his desk lies the main task for the day – the compilation of students’ results to be published the next day.
He scans through the sheets with absolutely no idea of how he’s supposed to pull off the herculean task. After series of hours flushed down the drain tidying miscellaneous issues that cropped up during the working hours, he signs out for the day only to receive a query the next morning, ultimately resulting in a month suspension for neglect of duty and lack of competence.
Both scenarios highlighted above bewrays a canker worm that has eaten up business ventures, startups, conglomerates, enviable projects & even rendered some government parastatals irrelevant.
Incompetence, Indiscipline, Procrastination, Lackadaisical attitude, Ignorance, Complacency et cetera are renowned elements of failure.
But there is a Secret Additive that gives one an edge over his fellow competitors and keeps him one step ahead of the pack.
I call it the Secret “ADD”
It’s not taught in the class rooms, yet it decides the fate of many in all fields and professions of life. It’s an exponential factor in determining who wins the heart of the customers, who wins the favor of the boss, who trumps his colleagues to the annual awards and who remains an indispensable part of the team.
I can feel a strong sense of anticipation, your curiosity is rising and you’re probably asking:
- What’s all the fuse about?
- What’s this super human elixir that only the elite possess?
- What’s this endowment bestowed on a selected few?
- What’s this quality that transcends skill and talent?
- What’s this secret known by all yet applied by a few?
Ask no more, its unambiguous and light weight. It could shock you. You’ve heard of it, you know it but you’ve underrated it in the past,
A – ABILITY
D – DISCIPLINE
D – DETERMINATION
Societies, business communities, academic Institutions, sports clubs, government offices, even the streets are littered with individuals, committees, boards, staff, contract workers et cetera who can confidently START a Project but lack the ABILITY to get the job done.
– Fellows who can come up with breathe taking ideas, exceptional ingenuity, unmatchable skills, astounding talent and surreal creativity but yet lack the DISCIPLINE to finish the Project.
– Young able bodied men, diligent, confident, experienced folks who lack the DETERMINATION to make it to the end, to make things happen and to make it to the top.
WHAT? Yes you heard you me right! That’s the ultimate SECRET probably weren’t taught in school, seminars and conferences.
From the specimen given above, we can deduce that Dr Smith had the Ability and Determination to execute his duties but lacked the Discipline while Mr. Mike lacked both the Ability and the Determination to execute the job. Therefore let’s put the following elements into perspective:
A – Ability
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the world has witnessed tremendous developments and technological advancements that are continuously increasing at a rapid pace.
The development witnessed within the last 20 years supersedes anything witnessed during the last 200 years as a result of drastic scientific and technological explosion in different disciplines and fields of life, ranging from medicine to biotech, from Engineering to Aviation, and from Military to Astronomy.
The world has evolved into a small community with Global access at your fingertips thanks to the internet and the social media just to mention a few. It all boils down to the continuous quest for knowledge and supremacy, where the end justify the means.
To sum it all, we can say that the world has become more result oriented than ever. No one gives a damn about your certificates or acclaimed expertise, race, complexion, stature or beauty. What matters the most is your ABILITY to DELIVER and GET THE JOB DONE. Your Worth & Economic Value is dependent on your ABILITY to deliver.
Taking the NBA statistics into consideration, the Cash Kings and Team MVPs are always the few elite who have the ABILITY to score the highest points, influence games, deliver trophies and attract star players to the team.
The brands that have maintained monopoly over the market space are those who have the ABILITY to provide maximum satisfaction to the customers and offer superior services consistently, those whose word is their bond.
ABILITY has been defined by series of dictionaries, the Webster, the Cambridge, the Oxford and the Collins etc. But we can sum it up as the Inherent or Acquired, Physical or Mental Capacity, Power, Aptitude & Skill to do something or to perform a particular job or task successfully.
Ability is not constant, it’s either appreciating or depreciating depending on how you exercise it. It could also remain at the level of mere potential if neglected, abandoned or underutilized.
The Ability to get things done transcends just physical capacity, it deals more on the mental attitude one must subscribe to in order to join this elite club.
Mentality is the singular trait that separates leaders from followers, winners from losers and elite from plebeians. The strength of one’s mentality determines how far he can go and how much he can accomplish, because MENTALITY simply connotes MENTAL ABILITY. Therefore the ABILITY to get things done begins with the MENTALITY.
A young lad always accompanied his father to the golf course at a tender age. His father always told him he was the best and he grew with that superior mentality that he was destined to be the best in whatever he did and eventually grew to become one of the greatest sports men of his generation, a leading superstar in golf, he goes by the name TIGER WOODS.
That’s the power of positive mentality, it will always distinguish a fellow from his peers.
One’s talent can’t be said to be the greatest factor to success but anyone who must achieve phenomenal feats in any aspect of life must have a certain level of Inherent talent and ability in that area of pursuit.
D – Discipline
Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak and esteem to all – George Washington
In the same vein,
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment
– Jim Rohn
It is the ability to conquer your desires and Self Seeking pleasures and act in accordance with what is demanded and expected of you at every point in time.
Discipline is the ability to rule your mind. No wonder Frank Herbert made a statement with every atom of verity,
Seek freedom and become captives of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty”
Some time ago I was enlisted into a Youth Corps Service programme where we underwent a 3-week orientation program.
We were subjected to a strict regimented lifestyle by the military officers who had oversight over the camp activities. It was a bitter sweet experience but it gave me a clear perspective of what true discipline entails.
We were scheduled to wake up by 4am every morning and retire to bed by 10pm or sometimes later than that for 21 days. Failure to do so came with beautiful consequences. It was a mind blowing experience I wouldn’t have gotten in the sweet comfort of my home.
But it educated me on what discipline can do to the mind and body if well embraced. No wonder it’s the back bone of the military, paramilitary organizations, sports clubs, industries and conglomerates.
It’s so essential for maximum attainment of success and fulfillment that anyone who neglects it does so at his own peril.
Discipline when embraced, has its effects clearly seen on workers’ positive attitude to duty, increased profitability, achievement of personal goals in record time and complete overhaul of one’s perspective and efficiency in life and career.
Every Successful man in any field of life is a perpetual student in the School of Discipline, because the values and ethics that takes you to the top must be maintained to remain at the top. Failure to do so will usher you into a resounding crash.
Indiscipline is a cancer that has crippled so many great dreams, valid intentions, clean motives, big visions and even bright careers. It’s the Achilles’ heel that has pulled down great innovators, thinkers, sports stars, entrepreneurs and subjected great leaders to public scrutiny.
Discipline is an intangible yet colossal quality that separates the good from the great & the best from the rest.
Developing Discipline is a gradual process and is built overtime until it is engrained into the core of one’s being (soul). Discipline in big things begins with Discipline in small things, there’s no short cut to it and there’s no limit to what you can do when you master the art of Discipline.
Cultivate the habit of Discipline and you are on your way to living and fulfilling your true potentials.
D – Determination
Determination could be said to be the talisman between dreams & achievement, expectations and reality. It’s an invisible force that drives one towards success.
It’s like a building built on the foundation of passion and courage, strengthened on the pillars of persistence and willpower, roofed with dedication and hardwork. No great achiever in any field of life would deny the drive of determination on the road to success.
No one can replicate this virtue better than the young kid from the streets of Madeira in Portugal who was diagnosed of a terminal illness at a young age15 and lost his father when he was 20 years old.
From the lowest threshold of poverty, precocious lad began his football carrier with a local club. The revered coach (retired) of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, took note of this young prodigy and bought him over to the Old Trafford.
There his talent began to bud and gradually he developed into a world class super star winning every club title available including individual honors, yet he wasn’t satisfied.
He had an insatiable desire to be the very best player in the globe and with an unquenchable zeal and hunger he pursued his dream. He was disappointed over and over again coming 2nd best in subsequent years, but he never gave up.
He was determined to be the best and to conquer the football world. He kept working hard amidst the failures and eventually prevailed becoming a global football icon with the world at his feet.
His name is Cristiano Ronaldo.
It’s recorded according to statistics that two thirds of small businesses fail within their first year. Bill gates widely acclaimed as the world richest man wasn’t born with a golden spoon. He conceived, developed and drove a business idea, aggressively marketed his products and vigorously defended his ideas and position.
His determination to put Microsoft on top of the world in computer software has led to the rise of one of the most influential companies of the last 2 decades.
Thomas Edison, the most respected inventor of the 20th century who was famous for his 999 failures before succeeding on his thousandth attempt once said,
Many of life’s failures are those who gave up when they were so close to success
The light bulb and motion pictures are products of his resilience and determination, which sparked many inventions we enjoy today.
Talent can take you far in life but while it is great to have natural Ability for something, you can’t rely on that alone.
Without the drive and determination to excel you will bask in perpetual mediocrity.
Determination is the invisible fuel that drives one tirelessly towards great accomplishments no matter the odds.
It is the key to Unimaginable feats and exploits. Without this element nothing outstanding can be accomplished.