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Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton, Ohio formed the Wright Cycle Company in 1892 to sell bicycles. Soon afterwards, the Wright Brothers expanded their business by adding a repair shop and later by manufacturing their own brand of bicycles. The repair and manufacturing of bicycles gave the brothers a wide range of mechanical and engineering skills that would later enable them to discover the laws of flight and to build the world’s first flying machine. The immense success the Wright Brothers enjoyed, in large part, resulted from their relentless drive to stay focused on their goals until they were achieved. Public domain photograph.
Perhaps more so than any other factor, success in a chosen endeavor requires a relentless drive to make things happen. Raw ability certainly counts, but more often than not it is drive rather than inherent capability that carries men and women to greatness.
This is not to say that everybody is on an equal playing field. We all know that some individuals have natural advantages, inherited gifts which give them a head start in life. However, no matter how much natural talent a person may possess, if their talent is not fostered with a burning drive to succeed nothing special is likely to happen.
“Drive”, as I use the word in this post, means something much more than just desire. When a person has internal drive, there exists within her a force so powerful that it brings forth an immediate urge to action, regardless of whatever obstacles may lie along the path to success. Drive does this by dissipating the evils of possibility thinking, allowing progress to spring upwards uncontested in nearly any terrain.
Sometimes, no matter how much effort is put forth, things don’t go as originally hoped for or as planned. But, almost always, the person with internal drive finds triumph in one form or another. Such triumph may be in direct line with the original goal, or it may manifest itself as a blessing in disguise. Consider these examples: Walt Disney went on to become one of the greatest movie makers of all time after he was fired as a newspaper artist for his “lack of creativity.” Albert Einstein went on to develop his Special Theory of Relativity after he was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. And, Orville and Wilbur Wright developed the principles of flight after they opened a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio.
Without doubt, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, and the Wright Brothers possessed natural talents. However, as with all great achievers, these men did not find success through their talents alone. Rather, it was their relentless drive, one backed with an iron will and decorated with nerve and grit, which propelled them forward. And when, at first, success didn’t come as desired, none of these ambitious men gave in to their failures. Instead, they learned from their setbacks, made adjustments to their course of action, and created new opportunities.
People whose actions are guided by chance, accident, or tradition rarely develop the internal drive needed to achieve greatness in anything. A guiding drive almost always shows itself only after you discover what you really want to achieve in life and after you make a decision to become an architect of your own fate. Only then will you be able to bring forth your full capability, overcome shortcomings, and achieve the highest level of personal satisfaction. This is true in the world of strength, and this is true in any other field of interest.