Patience and Persistence
Earlier this week, two things crossed my desk that I ended up connecting to relearn an important lesson about success.
The first was a fact mentioned in a story about the passing of a great man and leader, Truett Cathy. I had read it before but had forgotten that Truett Cathy was in the restaurant business for 21 years before he started the Chick-Fil-A restaurant we all know today. And at the time he founded Chick-Fil-A, he was 46 years old. In our world of instant gratification, it is so easy to get bored with the process and fall into the "grass is greener on the other side" mentality. We read stories (that are usually only part of the story) about a company that went from start up to a billion dollars in a year or we look at someone else's marriage, car, kids or life and assume that we must be doing something wrong or that we might be missing out on something. But we usually compare what we know about ourselves to what we don't know about other people, and as has been said many times "it takes about 20 years to become an overnight success." I think this applies to business, relationships, personal finance and just about anything else in life. Its important that we stay focused and patient and to realize that the greatest success usually goes to those who are willing to just "grind it out."
The second item that came to my attention was a great blog by Salman Khan (link) describing the common misconception described as a "fixed mindset" that "mistakenly believes that people are either smart or not, talented or not, that our ability is fixed by genes." But Khan points out that reality is more in line with what he refers to as a "growth mindset," that "correctly believes that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure."
I think Mr. Khan's blog and the lessons learned from Truett Cathy's long, long road to success give us a better picture of what truly leads to success in any area of life...work, struggle, persistence and the willingness to do the right things over and over and over again for a very long period of time.