By: D. A. Slinkard
If you have been consistently reading “Slinkard on Success,” you know we have been going through the alphabet and we have come to the letter F. There were many choices I thought about going with, but ultimately I decided our word will be “fight.” Growing up I would oftentimes hear the quote, “It’s not the dog in the fight; it’s the fight in the dog that matters.” I could not agree more with this statement because life is all about fighting to get what we want.
I have found in life that you do not get what you want, but you get what you work for. Many people are unable to achieve success in their life because they want the millionaire’s bank account with the poor man’s work ethic. It is not going to happen. A person needs to have some fight in their life. There needs to be a hunger for success, and too many people feel entitled to achieve that which they have not worked for.
Thomas Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” How many people fail to achieve success because they were not willing to try one more time? It comes down to the fight in the person’s life. There are some things worth fighting for and there are some things worth letting go. The true test comes into figuring out what we should fight for and what we should let go.
The other side of this spectrum is the number of people who are motivated for success when they are standing on the shoreline, but the first moment of rocky times they are willing to give up. Life is going to be difficult. There are going to be storms in life. In fact, everyone is either in the middle of a storm, coming out of a storm, or about to go into a storm in life. There is no middle ground, and the only people who do not have problems are the ones found in the cemeteries.
How does a person learn how to fight? How does a person learn how not to tuck their tail and run at the first sign of trouble? So many people have written about this topic and so many people have their own advice regarding what works and what does not. I have found what works for some does not work for me, and what works for me does not work for others. It is going to take trial and error until you can find what suits you. I quoted Edison earlier, and I find it intriguing that some people questioned him about failing in life and his response was epic — “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times. Another example would be Abraham Lincoln. In 1832, he was defeated for the state legislature. In 1833, his business failed; in 1835, his sweetheart died; and in 1836, he had a nervous breakdown. In 1838, he was defeated for Illinois Speaker of the House. In 1843, he was defeated for his nomination for Congress and lost his renomination in 1848. In 1854, he was defeated for the U.S. Senate and in 1856 he was defeated for the nomination for Vice President. In 1858, he was once again defeated for the U.S. Senate. However, in 1860, he was elected the President of the United States.
I wonder how many other people would have quit after the first couple of defeats. Who else would have said there is no use continuing because they were probably just going to lose? That is our mentality, and it is running rampant throughout our society. We have too many people saying, “Woe is me; woe is me,” and we need some people to grab their bootstraps and pull themselves up.
We live in the greatest country known to man, yet we are on the verge of losing this great nation because we have allowed the fight to go out of the dog. It is time to dig from within and find that which is worth fighting for. Success can happen, but it will take work. What are you willing to do to find your success? What will it take? It is all about the fight in the dog. What is inside of you?
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard would love your feedback. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org