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THE KEY ELEMENTS OF DETERMINATION AND SELF DISCIPLINE ON THE PATH TO SUCCESS

"If a man has talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If hehas a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly ... he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it,he has ... s

"If a man has talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If he
has a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly failed.
If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it,
he has gloriously succeeded and has a satisfaction and a
triumph few men ever know."
-- Thomas Wolfe

I think the key words in the path to success are:
DESIRE, DETERMINATION, DEDICATION and SELF DISCIPLINE.
Because everything starts out with the "seed of desire" - the
reason why I started out writing - wanting to make a difference
through my words. Others are FOCUS and a SINGLE-MINDEDNESS
(in pursuit of one's goals). PERSERVERANCE TOO (in large
"heaps".The words 'determination' and (by association)
'ruthlessness', suggesta person who wants success and power
for it's own sake. This is another sort of obsession. However,
a desire for power, riches and fame may have virtually nothing
to do with it. By the way, I feel that not all successful people
and business executives are ruthless - they are not all "money
grabbing corporate raiders". Most of them are "normal and
good family men", who have perfectly natural reactions in
that they hate firing employees. "Soft gentle souls!"

Determination is often at its greatest, when a person is
enslaved by an idea and wants to see the idea work. Me!
There is a further sort of determination: the determination to
see things through, to finish the job. For example, a compulsion
to qualify for the PGA golf tour in America, to finish a building,
or in my case to finish writing this manuscript...and then get
it published... which is the hardest part of all. Especially with
the way I write!

I suppose all these characteristics are somewhat abnormal;
because so-called "normal" people are more passive and less
focussed than us "obsessive types". They are regarded as
being less "mad" by the majority of the public, who engage in
more ordinary activities and have more "normal" occupations.

This thought leads me on to another question: Is the top-most
level of success the only one worth having, or is it sufficient
to merely enjoy sport for it's own sake (even the professionals)?
Does every player entering Wimbledon really think he or
she is going to win the Championship? Or is it success itself
just to play in the Wimbledon tournament? How realistic is
the vision of success to YOU? It all depends on how you define
success for yourself...which is the thought with which I
introduced this chapter.

I believe that a strong SENSE OF DIRECTION or PURPOSE IN
LIFE is a very important ingredient for success. So too is a
persistent personality.

To be successful in whatever endeavour one chooses, first of
all requires a great of talent. It might be latent, waiting to
be uncovered. Perhaps, you are not even aware of it. I wonder
how many budding Ayrton Senna's and Michael Schumachers
there are around, who just have never had the opportunity
(mainly in the form of money) to race cars? Motor racing is
certainly the "ultimate rich boy's sport".

To finally reap the rewards of success, obviously talent has
to be there on the long slow road to success - and at the
time of success...but has it always been there? Chess
geniuses, athletes, tennis players, architects, athletes,
scientists, dress designers and advertising creative directors.
These "creative types"! There can be talent deep within; but
there has to be hard work and training before the talent bears
fruition - so that it can succeed against (all) others...and this
often takes a great deal of time to bear fruit.

I believe in life it's firstly a matter of finding your "niche", then
unlocking your unique talents...and finding it is the most
difficult part. You may not even be aware you have any special
gifts. That is the "key" to success. As I mentioned, I found
whatever little ones I had through a process of serendipity...
and it's probably my one and only talent! My writing, I mean.
Once uncovered, it's then a question of building on it and
maximising it. Maria Callas, the opera singer with "a voice
like an angel" put a great deal of effort into maximising her
talent. Sometimes a phenemenol talent, like a Juan Manuel
Fangio*, Jim Clark or Ayrton Senna soars above all others;
but in most cases it's the effort and total dedication put in
to make the most of one's natural talents, that puts an
individual into the realm of a superstar - someone who is
on a different level, a cut above the best of the rest.
* Fangio won the World Driver's Championship five times.

One can sometimes substitute hard work, training, experience
and strategy for flair. Nice word that 'flair'. Could be a girl's
name. Some detectives are like "Mr Plod", while a few sleuths
have the natural insight of a Sherlock Holmes. Most others
have to get results through hard detailed work in uncovering
cases. I don't yet know whether I'm a "natural" writer or a
methodical plodder, a "gatherer and passer-onner of useless"
information through a great deal of effort. Perhaps only time
will tell!

I might have mentioned before (once, twice or ten times)
that this manuscript has been written for anyone: from the
most lowly amateur to the real 'pros' in the sporting world.
o no matter how lowly your abilities, make the most of them.
As I mentioned already, a positive attitude to life is all-
important. A positive attitude says that your natural talent
can be maximised. It also says that without further effort,
natural talent will be wasted. I do like repeating myself: for
emphasis primarily and as a sign of oncroaching senility too.

Sometimes persistent effort alone won't succeed in getting you
to the top - only sheer talent will do that... together with
consistent effort to keep you at "the top of the tree". Never
mind - JUST TRY TO IMPROVE yourself and simply DO YOUR
BEST at all times.

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