Wednesday, 18 May, 2022


Suffering, pre-requisite for success.

Suffering is a prerequisite for enduring success; entails iteration, experimentation, endurance, rejections, masterminding, temporary setbacks, and many frustrations. This seeming contradiction (paradox) is a contrarian view that the majority would struggle with because of the obvious reason: a man would rather have it easy than tough although he would easily relish in the quote: “the hard way, the only way.”

Truth is that for you to obtain enduring success, you have to sweat it out. Several thoughts from different schools attest to this: A verse of scripture reads:

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

This is hidden somewhere in the great book of secrets; made known only to the discerning.

The life of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was decorated with ceaseless and tortuous trials. His road to the White House spanned between 1816 and 1860 [a period of 44 years] before he was elected the 16th president of the United States of America. In his [Lincoln’s] own words shortly after losing the race into the Senate the second time in 1858, he said

“The path was worn and slippery. My foot slipped from under me, knocking the other out of the way, but I recovered and said to myself, ‘It’s a slip and not a fall’.”

Lao-tzu said: “To see things in the seed, that is genius.” This vision would make you persist despite initial failures and rejections because you have the mental perceptions of the end of it. The battle for impact comes with the strain to bring to actualization what you have envisioned. It is likened to the struggle that a plant goes through while trying to germinate through the hard soil to receive the life of the Sunlight.

Can you picture a chic trying to find its way out of an egg shell? Can you picture a mother giraffe kicking strength into her new born for the race for survival and escape from predation?

Richard Hooker worked for 7 years on his humorous war novel, M*A*S*H, only to have it rejected by 21 publishers before Morrow decided to publish it. It became a runaway bestseller, spawning a blockbusting movie and a highly successful television series.

Beethoven, one of the greatest composers that ever traversed this earth, was said to handle the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.

Charles Darwin, the author of the Theory of Evolution, gave up a medical career and was told by his father, “You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat catching.” In his autobiography, Darwin wrote, “I was considered by all my masters and father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect.”

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas. Walt also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four and didn’t read until he was seven. His teacher described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.” He was expelled and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

The sculptor Rodin’s father said, “I have an idiot for a son.” Described as the worst pupil in school, Rodin failed three times to secure admittance to the school of art. His uncle called him uneducable.

Leo Tolstoy, the author of War and Peace, flunked out of college. He was described as “both unable and unwilling to learn.

Henry Ford, the creator of Ford Motors, failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.

Finally, Tom Corley, the author of Rich Habits, described in his article “A Success Story of 9,529 Failures” published in the SUCCESS Magazine how he failed severally but never stopped: 144 Failures: How he sent out 144 query letters to literary agents after completing the manuscript to help him find a publisher. Only 30 responded with a “No thanks.” 136 Failures: How he spent 6 months chasing after publishers himself. One said yes; but it didn’t work out because they filed for bankruptcy months later. He decided to self-publish. 1,000 Failures: He mailed 1,000 books to reviewers and followed up with them; but no response to his calls or emails. 1,900 Failures: Spent 18 months speaking to more than 2,000 people at high schools, colleges, libraries and business associations, and managed to sell only 100 books. 1,850 Failures: In which he spent 2 years calling 2,000 radio stations in the U.S., did

150 radio interviews and sold 700 books—500 of them from one radio show alone. 2,499 Failures: He emailed 2,500 newspaper editors in the U.S. about doing a piece on the book, one editor from The New Jersey Star Ledger interviewed him and he sold 173 books from that piece. 2,000 Failures: He created a scholarship programme, funded by his royalties, to help promote Rich Habits. After 2,000 mailings and follow-ups, he received two incomplete scholarship applications; but he kept on. Then his break came when Laurie Flaquer interviewed him for her Internet TV show, Focus Forward. Laurie loved the interview and the book and became his publicist; and then he began writing articles for his blog and tweeting again. Then, he received an email that changed his life. The email was from Farnoosh Torabi, the host of the popular Yahoo Internet show Financially Fit. According to Corley, Farnoosh responded to one of his 16,000 Twitter pitches and agreed to do an interview, which went viral with 2.2 million hits; one of which was Dave Ramsey, the third largest radio host in the U.S. He said Dave was raving about his research on his show, and interviewed him the next day for 30 minutes. He sold 12,000 books. Rich Habits rose to #7 on Amazon, and he received Amazon’s coveted “Best Seller” designation.

Can you fathom what emotional torture that these minds had to go through? Next time anyone tells you enduring success is easy, you need to hear differently. If it were so, there won’t have been a need for crucifixion at Calvary. Yet, nothing is impossible if your belief aligns with possibility.

By Joseph Ayeni –

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