Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Only Struggle Breeds Success, Nothing Less
Dr. Alduan Tartt - YourBlackWorld.com
WOW, there certainly is a market for selling hope and prosperity? Have you seen how many motivational products are on the market these days: “The Science of Self-Discipline, The 4 hour Work Week, Lead the Field, etc.? Isn’t it great that we only have to wait “45 Days to Get Rich” and that we can, “Have the Life of Our Dreams in 90 Days”? In fact, did you know that it is possible to “Achieve a Whole New You in 7 Days”? It certainly appears that society is getting a whole lot smarter because we have miraculously figured out how to obtain riches, live the life of our dreams, and transform our lives in record time. Imagine, our parents, mentors, and ancestors had to struggle and endure for decades to get the same results. One has to think, if they knew what we knew they could have retired earlier and endured far less suffering.
If you’re like me, you have gotten caught up in the hype too. In 2007, I purchased motivational CD’s, tapes, DVD’s, workbooks, and even attended workshops and boot camps to improve my life, get rich, and find my true calling in record numbers. I sincerely cherish my expansive library of motivational products because they have significantly influenced and added value to my life in unimaginable ways. Being a motivational speaker myself, I even got caught up in creating products that would transform people’s lives in record time too. However, there was one thing that kept getting in my way: THEY DIDN’T WORK IN 7 DAYS.
I didn’t “Earn a Million Dollars as a Speaker in One Year”. I didn’t even earn a hundred thousand dollars! It’s taken me years to “transform my life” and I’m sure I’m still transforming. As for my dream life, I had some revelations about that too. I realized through daily prayer and relationship with God that I already was living my dream life and didn’t know it. In fact, when I began to reflect I became upset because I remember vividly that I struggled, lost direction, and got distracted from my true calling chasing “A Million Dollar Lifestyle in a Week”. I began to think that my cherished arsenal of motivational products was a fraud but then something told me to listen again.
When I went back and listened I realized that, almost to an author, I had missed one very integral, salient, and redundant point: Struggle is necessary for success and we only have limited control over when it comes. How did I miss that and why wasn’t struggle emphasized more in the titles? Was I duped, sold false hope, or outright lied to? I mean a 4-hour work week clearly implied that I can have more with less time. How was it possible that I had less money than what I had before I purchased these products when I was adding 5-10 hours per week just to listen to the tapes and CD’s? I mean, I was really mad but then I came to peace with myself.
To be real, I wasn’t duped. The authors told me the truth and I bought the PR and marketing hook, line, and sinker for one reason: I wanted a short cut. I certainly didn’t mind skipping struggle, losing money, or working for the rest of my life. I realized that I had gotten caught up in the hype. We’re living in a microwave society that wants and expects everything NOW! We watch reality TV shows, MTV, and VH1 and see everyday people transform into stars, in what appears, overnight and we want the same thing. I mean, it’s OK for children to think that Peter Pan can fly, Santa Clause can fit down chimneys, and WCW wrestlers really fight each other but what about adults? We’re grown and we know better, don’t we?
Television, radio, and those damned infomercials (my weakness) are so powerful. Even as adults, we forget that television is contrived, scripted, and fantastical which means that the extraordinary is the norm in Hollywood. What we forget is what is edited out, fast forwarded, or outright skipped. However, I’ll admit that I did turn the channel when the spokesmen kept it real about struggle, patience, and self-discipline. I didn’t want to hear that. Instead I bought what I wanted them to sell me: Instant Results! As a society, we now expect instant gratification, boundless energy, success, wealth, and prosperity without having to work for it. We desire the results now and could do without having to struggle, persist, or depend on God for it.
In retrospect, I’m glad that things didn’t work out for me in record time. Had I been so lucky, I most certainly would have traveled the world encouraging others to do the same while I openly and naively challenged their belief system if things didn’t work out for them in 7 days. Now that I struggle, I can better identify and appreciate the exhausting journey of obstacles, trials, and tribulations that we all must endure in order to be successful. Rome was not built overnight and neither were Les Brown, Oprah Winfrey, or Jay-Z for that matter. Certainly none of my heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, or Nelson Mandela learned how to be leaders from listening to motivation tapes and CD’s. Instead they all followed their dream, worked hard, struggled, endured, and prospered…and in that order!
Who are we to take short cuts? The moral here is that no matter how much we get mesmerized by instant success productions in a microwave society; there remains one tried and true formula for success: Belief, patience, persistence, and hard work- Notice that no specified time was included. God knows what we need, what we can handle, and has the ultimate time table for our success.
Remember that struggle is part of the process, builds endurance, faith, stamina, and ALWAYS precedes success. So, don’t give up on your dreams because you did not achieve your dreams in 7 days. Remember that the harvest takes time and fruit can be long-bearing. Keep stringing together 7 days of hard work, persistence, and faith in God and watch what happens over six months, one year, and two years! Besides, success stories without conflict don’t sell very well and ultimately rob you of your testimony to encourage others. Embrace and enjoy the journey.
Dr. Tartt is a licensed psychologist, power life coach, and motivational speaker in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He is available to speak on a variety of topics and enjoys coaching and supporting believers on their walk with faith towards a better tomorrow. He can be contacted at www.drtartt.com or 1-877-377-4002.