There are many things that make up any successful person. This list is usually long. On this list you are likely to find Passion, Drive, Ambition, Bravery, Courage, Vision, Focus, etc. But in this article, I will be concentrating on the essential ingredients needed for success to be achieved in any work of life. These essential ingredients are Desire, Diligence, Determination, and Dedication. These are the essential 4Ds of success.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6. NIV
This story is called The Healing at the Pool in the Holy Bible. You can read the full story in John 5:1 – 15. It is a story about a man who has an infirmity for 38 years. For 38 years he has been suffering from his illness but luckily for him at that time there was a way out of his pain because there was a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda which is miraculous pool, in that; at least once a year an angel stirs or disturb the water and whoever is able to get inside the pool first is healed of his or her illness. It doesn’t matter what the illness was. It is strictly first in gets healed. So you have to be watching the water constantly and be ready to jump in once the water is stirred or disturbed.
This particular man has been waiting around the pool for 38 years. He has seen at least 38 people get healed but he is still suffering. What was his excuse? Let’s hear it >> “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” John 5:7 NIV.
This man has comforted himself with his excuse; that he has no one to help him into the pool whenever the water is disturbed. But in reality, even with his infirmity, he has enough movement within his body to get himself inside the pool. I have seen people without legs walking with their hands. I have also seen people without any legs or arms moving from point A to point B. These people have genuine excuses to stay in a fixed position but they chose not to use any those excuses. My mother once told me that “there are always good and strong reasons to fail but it’s up to you not to use them”.
So in verse 6 of John 5, Jesus saw him lying there. He (Man with infirmity) must have been looking and feeling somewhat content with his excuse. He has come to accept that he has a strong excuse for not getting healed. So Jesus asked him “Do you want to get well?”. Because Jesus has heard that this man has had this infirmity for 38 years and He also knew that each year someone gets healed at that same pool and that this man has enough mobility to get himself inside the pool. Jesus needed to be sure that the man actually wants to get well. You can reframe his question as “Do you “Desire” to be well?” Jesus knew that for anything to happen in life, there must be a desire.
This passage of the scripture speaks to everyone because there is always a good excuse for not achieving something in life but the question is “Do you really desire to be successful?”. I mean do you really really want that thing with every fibre of your being? Do you think about it day and night? Are you willing and ready to give up everything just for that thing? Desire is the number one thing to achieve anything. Every human advancement is based on one thing and that is desire. Desire power every other thing needed to achieve any goal.
Napoleon Hill stated it perfectly when he said: “The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
Diligence is defined as constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind. The keywords or statement is “constant and earnest effort”.
Diligence is an essential component of success because it takes care of a vital requirement for success which is “consistency”. This is why I said that the keywords are “constant and earnest effort”.
Hardwork today, total laziness tomorrow is the blueprint for stagnancy in life. You might think you are making progress because of the few days you’ve worked hard; but if you bother to take stock of where you were and where you are now, you would notice you had barely made any progress.
I used to work in healthcare. Each year there is always a new support worker. The same always seems to happen to each new support worker. They would demand 8, 9 or even 10 long days. What usually happens is that once this new support worker finishes his or her 8, 9 or 10 longs days which is either 12 or 14 hours a day shifts, they would call in sick. Sometimes they would be off work for up to 3 weeks. Stress is a killer. What I noticed was that; at the end of the month, when I add up the hours of the people who kept to their 40 hours a week, it is usually just about the same number of hours with those who requested for extra long days. Those who kept to their normal 40 hours a week were consistent and those who requested extra long days were very inconsistent. With the extra long day shifts; comes frequent absences. Although to the naked eye it might look like those who requested extra long days are working more but the truth was there weren’t. They would have earned more than double of what the normal full-time staff was earning if they had been consistent but that wasn’t the case.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra said Diligence is the mother of good fortune and he couldn’t be more right. The thing you have to understand about being diligence in whatever task you are doing, It is not about how hard you are working but how consistent are you in delivering that output on a regular basis. For you to be successful in anything there must be constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken. For a little (constant) drop of water makes a mighty ocean.
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat said, Winston Churchill. Tommy Lasorda put it perfectly when he said “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” Determination is the third essential ingredient of success. Success cannot be attained without the firmness of purpose for the road to success is filled with obstacles and trials. Beverly Sills was right when she said that “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” If it was easy everyone will be successful. There won’t be rich and poor or those regarded as successful or failure by society. Success demands a lot from you and you will be rewarded greatly for every ounce of effort you put in, in achieving it.
Just like Tommy Lasorda said, determination is the difference between the impossible and possible. I have come across a lot of difficulties in my short lifetime and each time, the only thing that got me to my desired result is my sheer determination. I was determined that I will rather suffer humiliation and ridicule than to give up. And each time, one way or the other I get that which I came for. It was like a greater power greater than me was observing my fights and struggles all along; and after my determination has been evaluated, the road is somehow opened for me. It’s like Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” But you must really believe in that which you seek and accept nothing else than what you came for. You might be losing the battle in front of you right now but I want to guarantee you that “You’re never beaten until you admit” – George Patton. Determination is about being resolute about what you seek.
Success is like a woman, for she demands your full attention. You must be totally in love with her in order to have her. This is why it is impossible to achieve success without dedication. For you to be dedicated is to devote yourself wholly and earnestly to your cause. For you to be successful in whatever field or project, you will have to devote yourself wholly to that cause. This means you have to sacrifice your time and energy.
When some people hear of giving up there time and energy; most of them panic or get uncomfortable with that idea, but you shouldn’t really be.
One of the Universal laws is The Law of Sacrifice. Universal laws are the laws which govern this our time-space reality but I won’t be going into all of them in this article. But The Law of Sacrifice states that “Sacrifice is giving something of a lower nature to receive something of a higher nature”. So the question now becomes, do you value your time, energy and current resources more than that which you want to achieve? Only you can answer this question. But what you must know is that, just like all the other Universal Laws, you cannot cheat this law. YOU MUST GIVE SOMETHING TO GET SOMETHING. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Paul Bryant put it perfectly when he said “If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards”.
Like I said in the beginning of this article, there are many things required to achieve success but these four qualities discussed here are the most important ones. When you have these 4Ds in you, other qualities will fall in line. I can state it categorically that if anyone of these 4Ds is missing, you might never achieve that which you desire. If you look around you; you would find people who are passionate about one thing or the other, yet they are a failure at that thing. They are always looking for their big break but it never seems to come. They have now comforted themselves with the belief that they ain’t lucky enough. When you really sit these people down and analyse them, you will notice that one of the 4Ds mentioned here is missing. Maybe the desire is there but they are lacking in diligence or they aren’t really willing to make the sacrifice to achieve that which they seek.
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Have a wonderful day.