Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Success is winning the lottery?

In our own way, each of us is special. Friends and family will vouch for that. I certainly believe so.
Being special and success are related but not identical. The warm, wholesome feeling of being unique comes from a belief in self and ability.
Surely, I cannot jump into a fighter airplane – were one available to me – and start flying combat sorties tomorrow! However, I do know that if I wished to fly airplanes, I can do so by implementing a proper plan of action for the purpose: enrol into a flying school, listen to flying instructors, clock up enough hours in the air and, in due course, I will be able to flying airplanes.
Of course, life is never as easy as written theory. Learning to fly an airplane is no easy task.
Recently, one of Singapore's premier educational institutions denied me admission into their Master's program for no apparent reason. (The university was unwilling to share with me the weakness in my application.) Not one to accept a slight to my ego lightly and having supreme confidence in my abilities as a candidate, I took up the matter with the Dean's Office at the university. Following a review, the university reversed its earlier decision and offered me admission into their Master's program.
The university experience highlights the obstacles particular individuals and circumstances may sometimes place in one's path. Other people, whether corporate managers, university lecturers or simply administrative staff may not always share our goals and have little interest in seeing us succeed.
The experience also illustrates the importance of persistence, especially in the face of adversity. We are all soldiers fighting our own private wars.
Success is one of the few things about which we must be selfish. Only we can bring success to ourselves. Success must be bought through hard work, persistence and a dash of luck.
Success does not come cheap, nor does it come quickly. Success is expensive and requires patience.
Time is a friend of success. Time can be manipulated to our advantage. There may never be enough time for every activity but with a schedule and, with some discipline, time can be stretched. 
Persistence, discipline and patience: important ingredients for success

Discipline: the hardest part to achieving! Enrolling in a flying school is not sufficient to teach me flying. I must attend my classes; study texts and so on. In other words, I must be disciplined in my approach to flying school.
Yes, this post reads like so many other simplistic 'motivational' pieces written by self-help gurus. But all the stuff about persistence, patience, hard work (and luck) is true.
Short of winning the lottery, there are few alternatives to succeeding in life.
"If you really want something in life you have to work for it. Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers."
- Homer Simpson.

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