The definition of success varies from person to person. To me, however, success is achieved when I am able to look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and say “I truly did my best”. I may not have won a game or received a perfect grade on a project, but I did put forth my work…no regrets. I believe in the ability to succeed.
When you set mind to something you can truly achieve anything. No, I’m not suggesting that you can fly if you want to badly enough, but within reason you can be successful at almost anything. You must persevere. Perseverance is the ability overcome whatever challenges that may stand in one’s path- the ability to work to achieve success.
I learned to persevere through sports. I am a basketball player. I play seven days a week, 365 days a year. My hard work has paid off, as my Varsity team won the State Championship in 2008. However, my team’s season was not without conflict. Each game we were faced with a new challenge. An opportunity to prove ourselves worthy of our opponent or go home defeated. On the court, we faced a group of talented young ladies who were ready to fight for the state title. Off the court we faced turmoil, as local parents and newspaper blogs put us down, suggesting our defeat, and attempting to tear our team apart. Yet our perseverance, and persistence, combined with desire that helped us to be successful.
We played with no regrets. What differentiated us from our opponents and critics was our heart. We wanted to win, truly wanted it. So we set out to achieve our goal. It was our ability to fight, the strength of our desire, which led to that victory. It was not simply physical strength, however, that led to our success. Bodily strength can be acquired through hours of tedious training. It was our mental agility that superseded that of our opponents. Psychologically, we were determined.
We were fortunate. Our perseverance brought success. Had we lost, however, I still would have been satisfied. I would have been able to look at myself at the end of the day and been proud, because I had put all my heart into the game.
You can’t always win in life. You can, however, always be successful. Life, as many people may agree, is not fair. You may try your best and fall short. You may want something, try to achieve it, and fail. But success is personal. And if you attempt to persevere, and if you give all that you can, you can never truly fail.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.