“Failures are the foot-stones to success”, says Samuel Smiles in this monumental book ‘Self-help’. There is not a truer saying then this one regarding success. Success is the coveted prize, the forlorn hope and the cherished desire of every soul which throws itself into any task.

Success and difficulties

The road to success is often interspersed with difficulties, failures and disappointments. He who falls away from the path in encountering these barriers commits a Himalayan blunder. The persons who not only encounter these for mid able barriers but prove-their grit and tenacity by overcoming show themselves to be worthy of being crowned and glorified with success. The array of men coming from the lowliest origin who have achieved distinction in walks of life in science literature, commerce war-fare and art show that all events, the difficulties, even though they may be interposed by poverty, are not insurmountable Nepolean Bonaparte rose from the son of a humble French farmer to be emperor of mighty France. The case of Abraham Lincoln, the great democrat the world has produced, is too well known to be repeated here. Poverty presents no barrier on the read to success. It were the commons of England, who by their industrious and adventurous spirit, laid the foundation of a mighty empire, and not the Lords. Physical incapability is also a trivial matter. Beethoven composed his immortal sonnets after he had become completely deaf. Milton penned his, immortal ‘Paradise Lost’ after his eyes had ceased to do their work.

Success and perseverance

Success in anything under the sun is dependent on perseverance. Perseverance and courage lead to success of the best sort’, says Smiles. Genius springs up from perseverance. Dalton, the father of modern chemistry, always repudiated the well known notion that he was a genius. Robert Pal, Thomas Carrew. Carlyle, Jame Wall, Stephenson and numerous others have proved to the world what, perseverance can achieve. Carlyle’s voleminous work ‘French Revolution’ was destroyed while still in the manuscript state. Though greatly shocked; he set to work with determination and reproduced the work. No less common is the rare perseverance of Sir Issac Newton. The accidental destruction of his papers by his little dog upsetting a lighted candle upon the desk proved no barrier to this great man’s perseverance. The fact that the elaborate calculations of many years were destroyed in a moment, did not deter his tenacity Science and literature owe a great debt to these immortal men.

Success and opportunities

The person desiring to succeed should prove himself to be able to avail the opportunities that come in his way. “Opportunity has hair in front, behind she is bald; if you seize her by the fore lock, you may hold her, but once is suffered to escape, not Jupiter himself can catch her again”, is a well known Latin saying. Opportunities are few but an observant and alert person can hardly miss them. The Russian proverb says for the non-observant man “He is one who goes through the forest and sees no firewood.” Many, before Galileo. had seen a suspended weight swinging with a measured beat, but he was first to detect the value of the fact. It led to his invention of the pendulum, an invention which can scarcely be overvalued. Newton discovered gravity on seeing an apple fall, an insignificant happening in the eyes of others.

Will-power and success

Assiduity and indomitable will-power are the necessary ingredients of success, Napoleon’s success was mainly due to his will-power. “Impossible is a word not to be found in my dictionary” said the warrior. True success is that which displays all the virtues of the person achieving it. Success, achieved in the easy way is not success in its true sense. Perhaps, who have achieved and measure of success, have had to struggle for it, try their utmost to overcome difficulties. Difficulties lurk behind every nook and corner. They fade away before determination and tenacity.

Success should be slow in appearance

Success, however, striking is slow to make its appearance. Years of toil, hardship and labor have to be gone through to achieve even a little-measure of success. Process of the best kind is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once. Accidents rarely help a person to achieve success. We must be satisfied with our progress, even through we proceed at a snail pace. As a farmer sows his seeds, so we must toil and labor. As a farmer waits patiently for his crop to ripen, we must wait for the success to come into The best fruit often ripens the slowest and so success is slow to come. This feeling is aptly expressed in the following well-know verse fron the Bible:

“Lead kindly light, amidst the encircling gloom, Lead thou me on,

I do not ask to see, the distant scene,

One step enough for me.”

The person, who stoops low before difficulties is the most unlikely one to achieve any measure of success. John Hunter says of the person who panics when he faces an obstacle. Is there one whom difficulties dishearten-who bends to the storm? He will do little. Difficulties have to be overcome by grappling with them and success is a forlorn hope for one who fails to do so.

The example of the missionaries in America of the 18th century is a most striking example of assiduity. Christianity is indebted to these zealous and untiring men, who struggled against heavy odds for the cause of religion.


Success can, therefore, be compared to the summit of a mountain. The obstacles on the way to the summit, can be linked to difficulties. The person who wants to achieve success, has not find his way, step by step up the gagged sides to the pinnacle. One faltering step and he fails to reach the pinnacle. Assiduousness has to be combined with will-power to reach the summit. The nearer the top reaches, the more difficult his path becomes. Robert Browning has said of the assiduous man: “Active doer, noble liver, Strong to labor, sure to conquer.”

A persons’s toils and labors culminate in his achieving success. Success puts to test the energies of the persons who achieve it.

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