Faith, Focus, and Endurance

Winning should always be defined as first winning from within. As we go through life and attempt to translate our thoughts into actions to achieve success, sometimes something gets lost in the translation. Our efforts fail, or we fail to meet or maintain our best standards.

Years pass by and we remain stuck or behind by the standards of society or the hopes of our ancestors. We feel limited, held back, lost and without any hope of being who we always thought we would be back when we were a child and the future and life seemed unlimited. We may even have helped fulfilled the dreams of others but not of ourselves and we recall the question of what now?

Well, there is an answer that I have learned about through experience. As we proceed towards the answer, we must first understand the 4 types of successes. They are the 4 broad areas in which success may determine the quality of one’s life.

4 Successes

The 4 areas of success are as follows:

  • Material Success
  • Character Success
  • Industrial Success
  • Biological Success

Material Success

Increasing financial well-being and the ability to acquire goods and services of the highest order is one aspect of material success. Attached to material success might be certain forms of business, political, social and group power concentrated in a few individuals or organizations. It is the type of success most often advertised, glorified or sought after in the world. It may be the opportunity to make your physical existence more comfortable, enjoyable and to afford you the time necessary to do more of the things you want to do at a higher level of quality and depth without having to work everyday to maintain the necessities for living. It is the type of success many fail to achieve at a high level. Despite this, many continue the pursuit of this type of success.

Character Success

Maintaining the integrity of your ideals and to do so in the face of intense temptation to do otherwise is success of character. There have been people throughout history who are remembered, in part, because they have shown that success of character is both achievable and necessary. Material success comes from the outside and can be lost. Character success comes from the inside, it can be lost, and regained. Other can recognize character, falsely or rightfully, but only you know the inner truth of your own character. The consistent realization of inner character over a lifetime is success of character.

Fully accepting quality inner character before material success will better situate one above the disillusionment of material reality. Not in every moment, but in enough cases that true inner character becomes the worthier pursuit.

Industrial Success

When you have a plan or an ongoing intention to create something well; provide a good quality level of service; or achieve an overall intellectual or strategic objective and you achieve it, that is industrial success.

Industrial success is when an industrious effort is pursued to achieve a higher quality outcome unrelated to anything else but the quality of the contribution itself. It is part of the origin of good poetry, art, technology, laws, charities, restaurants and cuisines, clothes, statues, buildings, and tastefully decorated landscapes. All the better designed and masterfully produced versions of these things come from people who decided to strive for and put forward their better or best work as an end unto itself.

Knowing the quality of what you have produced and then knowing for yourself that it is good quality after much effort and striving is the definition of industrial success.

Biological-Social Success

This type of success splits 3 ways.

First, is the biological aspect. That is the ability to survive a lack of food, shelter, and physical safety. The ability to make it through physically demanding or threatening circumstances and come out the other side still alive and able to think well and function independently.

The other part of biological success is to either bring others into the world or be involved with others to raise the young; assist in their overall development; their intellectual and moral knowledge and self-discovery. To foster superb well-being as part of an unbroken processes that began millions of years ago with the first people.

The final part of this is one’s standing among their family and society. A level of regard that continues into oral or written history. The measure of all these things is the measure of biological-social success.

When Failure Is Obvious

Most of us will fail at these area of success. Evidence for this exists in our own experience; our observations of others; anecdotes; and the numbers kept by scientists. The numbers are the most revealing of all as they make clear how widespread nature of failure in these areas.

Failing to Achieve Material Success

Failure to attain material success is indicated by numbers reporting the poverty rate across millions and billions of people; unemployment; and labor participation. You could continue on to see a hierarchy of failings from first world countries involving things like bankruptcies and foreclosures to third world problems such as basic nutrition, basic sanitation, basic housing, and basic social mobility. The measures of material success differ across the world and across communities, but in absolute terms, most of us fail to achieve the type of material success that could lead us to live life a different level.

Failing to Achieve Character Success

Buried in the numbers about homicides, divorces, and the amount of lobbying efforts on matters of cultural values and interpretation of moral imperatives are indicators about character. Suffice it to say, much of this may be an indication of a perception of character and may, in fact, be unrelated to the truth of character in every case. However, the debates of our times tend to describe general dispositions with regards to matters of character and many of us struggle with them in a number of situations.

Failing To Achieve Industrial Success

No every plan needs to be about money but the numbers about the numbers of small businesses that fail have something to say, not about business, but those involved in the failures who may now have a dream deferred. Not every effort, plan, or intention to create will succeed and the numbers bear that out. Sometimes there are legal prohibitions to even benign ideas and the dreamer has no other recourse but to maintain the dream in the place where dreams originate. Open standards and open avenues may change this at some point, but realistically, the truth is not every industrious pursuit meet the standards of their industrious fore-bearers.

Failing to Achieve Biological-Social Success

Besides the numbers on homicides, divorces, and mortality rates is the general experience that basic biological-social success remains a challenge. Part of that general experience are the abundant news reports of a number of situations with ill outcomes. Regardless of how one regards how information is disseminated today, those reports that are true tend to describe challenges to the basic survival and the continuation of individuals.

When We Fail, What To Do?

We should always remember that the first two traits with which we are born are resilience and resourcefulness. We are all born with those two traits and they are the biological, mental foundation for seeing our effort through. Resilience and resourcefulness is what you have in you but it is not yet enough. Proceeding further requires you believe higher to continue through difficulty.

Higher values go beyond things that can disappear or be taken away permanently such as wealth, influence, reputation, public credit, and physical freedom. Higher values can reduce the length of tears or the time it takes to recover to the next moment when you will begin again.

Faith, Focus, and Endurance

You have faith. You know that despite the problems, nature is self-correcting. Things may not work out in the short-term or even in thirty years or even sixty years from now. Your faith comes from the knowledge that history has shown that recovery does happen and dark periods do not last.

You do not know when things will turn around. You do not know how things will turn around. You simply know that in time, things do turn around. Your faith is the right conditions fairly applied wide and far will happen and the evidence is that in history of life, it has happened before and will happen again. Life itself, that we (elements of nature) are still here, provides the evidence for faith.

With faith must come focus. Faith and Focus, side-by-side. Not a rigid, bitter, adversarial focus, but a steady, easy, quiet and consistent focus on the right things and right actions. True focus is where you train your mind and actions on the right things to increasingly filter out the irrelevant. All things are important, but for your moments of life and your situations somethings apply more than others and you must focus on the right things to produce the right actions.

Between Faith and Focus, you build up and gain endurance. With the right faith and the right focus, you cultivate and demonstrate the endurance necessary to achieve success. Success begins with faith, focus, and endurance.

The success you can achieve from faith, focus and endurance may be material success at a very high level, but usually it is not. Even when it is not, with the right faith and the right focus, success will still be yours. A trio of success that may endure far beyond the time of when your actual efforts have long concluded.

By Michael Gautier


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