The Other Key to Success

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
Thomas Paine

These words reached the eyes of a public wresting freedom from the British government in the cold air of December 1776, stoking the fire in revolutionary hearts.

The Crisis, Paine’s follow-up to the wildly popular Common Sense, debuted almost six months after the Declaration of Independence confirmed the American Colonies’ break from the Mother Country. Seeing enthusiasm for the cause wane (George Washington’s Continental Army had lost New York City and was being chased west through the New Jersey countryside), Paine took up his pen to call out the “summer soldier and the sunshine patriot.”

Spirits elevated by victory at Fort Ticonderoga and the capture of Boston crashed back to Earth.

Having tasted defeat, many began losing their stomach for struggle.

Herculez Gomez reminded me of this proverbial gut check via Twitter on Wednesday:

Will is the difference between “almost” and “accomplished.”

Gomez alludes to a stark fact: progress is easy in sunshine.

Pursuit of grand achievement requires winters of discontent. When the temperature drops and the skies turn a lifeless gray, you must have stores of steely resolve to battle the cold months.

Strong conviction keeps you moving forward when the road to success becomes a treacherous sheet of ice.

Steadfast discipline is like four-wheel drive for success.

You must kick into a different gear when the going gets tough.

Focused determination gives you traction on the slick mountain trail to your peak.

Without it, you’re going nowhere.

With it, you pass through “the times that try men’s souls” to your desired destination.

This is the conclusion of a two-part series on the primary characteristics necessary for success begun yesterday in “The First Key to Success.”

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