THE 3 P’S FOR SUCCESS






“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success” –Napoleon Hill.
            While a Marketing student about a decade ago, we were taught the 4 P’s in our first year and later taught the 7 P’s. This categorization made it much easier to remember the variables of what in Marketing parlance is termed the Marketing mix. Akin to the 4 P’s of the marketing mix is what the world renowned Best-selling motivational author, Napoleon Hill considers “an unbeatable combination for success” and which I prefer to term “the 3 P’s for success”. These include patience, persistence and perspiration as itemized by Napoleon Hill in the quote above. It is my candid opinion that the 3 P’s for success are non-negotiable and are an absolute necessity on the route to success.

            Success may mean different things to different people. However, for the purpose of clarity and in the context of this write-up, I wish to define success as completing an objective or reaching a goal. A young person who aims at becoming a millionaire at age forty and who eventually achieves it within the specified period of time may be considered to have succeeded. Another who dreams of graduating from the university with a degree in Law and who in time graduates with a degree in Law has in essence succeeded in reaching his or her goal. Success simply has to do with accomplishing ones dreams, goals and aspirations.

Patience
            It was Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Genevan philosopher, writer and composer who once rightly noted: “Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.” This is exemplified in vivid terms in the occupation of farming. Farmers plant their crops with expectation of a harvest but also with the understanding that they will have to wait for weeks, months or even years, depending on the kind of crops planted. They thus plant their crops and provide the necessary care while they wait patiently for harvest time. It will be mission aborted and certainly a misnomer should a cultivator of Chinese bamboo trees destroy what he or she has planted (while still below the earth surface) with the pretext that the trees he or she planted are not growing or that they are taking too long to grow. It is common knowledge that the Chinese bamboo takes a couple of years to as much as shot out of the ground, let alone grow into maturity. The point of this illustration is to drum home the fact that in life, any accomplishment of significance takes time; sometimes longer than one may expect. This makes patience a necessity, less great dreams are aborted. Thomas Alva Edison once noted: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” If only they had been a little more patient. Anold H. Glasow made an insightful and brilliant observation when he stated: “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”

Persistence
            The value of persistence on the route to success cannot be overemphasized. It simply is a must have if one is to go far in life. Thomas Alva Edison, the prolific inventor and entrepreneur once stated: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Similarly, Elbert Hubbard, American writer, publisher, artist and philosopher stated thus: “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”Samuel Johnson, English poet, essayist, editor and lexicographer caps it up when he observed thus: “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”

            The struggles of Abraham Lincoln, the famed and revered former United States president epitomizes the virtue of persistence in the pursuit of one’s dreams and aspirations. In 1831, Abraham Lincoln failed in business. In 1832, he was defeated for State legislator. In 1833, Abraham Lincoln tried a new business, and failed. In 1835, his fiancée died. In 1836, Abraham Lincoln had a nervous breakdown. In 1843, Abraham Lincoln ran for Congress and was defeated. In 1848, Lincoln ran again, and was defeated. In 1855, Lincoln run for the Senate, and lost. In 1856, he ran for vice president and lost. In 1859, Lincoln ran again for the Senate. He was defeated. In spite of such a long streak of humiliating failures, he incessantly chose the path of persistence. It eventually paid off when in 1860; Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States. A perceptive mind wisely noted: “What matters most is not how many times you fail, but that you never stop trying.”

Perspiration
            Perspiration essentially connotes hard work as against slothfulness. It was Thomas Alva Edison who retorted thus: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” He further noted: “There is no substitute for hard work.” This observation ought not be taken lightly especially when it comes from one credited with numerous inventions, the first industrial research laboratory, and one who held over 1,093 patents in his name across the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. His phenomenal accomplishments are well documented and speak for themselves. Hard work obviously pays. If you doubt this, ask the ant. Even when people speak of working smart, it still boils down to hard work; thinking is hard work and thinking is a necessary route to working smart. 

            One of my all-time favourite inspirational quotes comes from the pen of the renowned poet, scholar and novelist, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He creatively underscored the value of hard work when he once stated: “The heights that great men reached were not by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” A similar train of thought can be inferred from a statement attributed to Ray Bradbury, an American novelist, essayist, playwright, screen writer and poet when he sought to give some encouragement to persons who aspired to be writers. He noted: “Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer but if he applies the old-fashioned virtue of hard, constant labour, he’ll eventually make some kind of a career for himself.”

            For as many as desire to succeed in one area or the other, the ball is in your court. Go ahead, play it and play it well fully armed with the 3 P’s of success and you have it made. Patience, persistence and perspiration most certainly make an indefatigable and indomitable mishmash for success.
Written by Daniel Dela Dunoo (Freelance writer, Professional marketer)

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