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How To Achieve Success in Anything

It’s All Up To Us

By Gary RagnarssonPublished 12 months ago Updated 12 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2023
How To Achieve Success in Anything
Photo by Guille Álvarez on Unsplash

"If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don't. If you'd like to win but to think you can't, it's almost certain you won't. Life's battles don't always go to the strong or faster man, but sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can." -Walter D. White

The majority of my life to this point, could be summed up with this short quote. I think if we’re being honest with ourselves, the same applies to us all. We’ve all gone through times where we’ve given up. We’ve all gone through times where our own self doubt has crippled us. Kept us from starting something, or seeing it through to the end. It’s fine and it’s normal. It’s self preservation. The threat of failure too easily outweighs the potential for success. And look, some things (the things we wish to be great at) are hard to master.

But here’s the thing. If we stop for a second, and look at those we idolise, what sets them apart from us? Was Michelangelo born with the ability to sculpt David? Was Brad Pitt always the go-to, bankable, movie star he is today? Let’s fast forward a few years and take a look at Ed Sheeran— have you heard his singing efforts before refining his style and finding his voice? The one, single thing, that separates any of us from success in anything, is the amount of times we’re willing to fail, adapt, and learn, in pursuit of that success.

It’s how often we are willing to come across an obstacle, and learn to work beyond that obstacle, while still holding the hope and vision of eventual success at the forefront of our minds. A ‘wannabe’ artist discovers he can’t draw hands. How he deals with that, is going to determine whether or not he’s successful in art. Is he gonna throw in the towel, give up entirely, or decide to simply avoid drawing hands? Or is he going to draw hands over and over again, in all positions, from all angles, at all perspectives, until it becomes something he’s capable of? The latter is the path to success.

You can’t write a novel without first failing at writing novels, write vibrant characters until you’ve written flat ones. It’s the lessons we learn in failure, that teach us the way to success. Once we accept this, and learn that failure is the path to success, we are truly ready to achieve success in anything we put our minds to. The only thing left to do is believe it and see it through.

You will come across doubters. You will be pushed down by those around you. Coerced into giving up by some of those closest to you. It’s not out of malice, but out of wanting the best for you, and feeling that telling you something isn’t worth the effort is somehow helping you. Success is a hard, lonely, and rocky path. From the outside looking in, it’s awful.

People don’t see the thousands of hours ‘that guy they follow on instagram’ has spent sketching, and failing, before being capable of creating that awesome time-lapse. They see you tripping up on hands, and tell you not to bother. They believe it’s some kind of god-given gift. That you either can or you can’t. You, however, know that not to be true, and it is only you that can keep going. Despite any naysayer, despite any obstacle, despite any doubt. The knowledge that success is possible, and takes work, is all you need to get there.

So why isn’t everyone a grandmaster at chess, an insta-famous artist, or an A-list movie star? Because it’s hard. And that’s where the work comes in. If you’re certain of something you want to achieve, if you’re dedicated to seeing it through, then its gonna take a hell of a lot of work.

Remember, it takes an average of ten-thousand hours to master any one thing, which does of course vary depending on the level of talent or natural affinity you may have to it. But you don’t have to be a master at it to be successful. You just have to keep going through all the struggle and hardship, knowing that eventually, you will be successful.

If you like little snippets of inspiration, philosophies, ideas, and broad discussion, my Facebook is the best place to be 😊


About the Creator

Gary Ragnarsson

Deep thinker, stoic, and writer from the UK, sharing everything from philosophical insights to my most intimate, personal stories.

In a world consumed by chasing more, I’m over here embracing less on purpose.

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Comments (15)

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  • HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward)11 months ago

    Affirmative ❤️💯❗

  • Ruth Stewart11 months ago

    This is very inspiring. You are right, of course. Well written and it held my interest until the end. Fab!

  • Student Rob12 months ago

    Great article Gary, and it reminds me of something I heard recently from Amy Porterfield: that your reasons for doing something have to be constantly ahead of your reasons for quitting. If the drive is strong enough, you'll find a way to adapt or overcome the obstacle in front of you.

  • sleepy drafts12 months ago

    This is an outstanding piece! Inspirational and empowering advice. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this!! ❤️

  • Jacob Johnson 12 months ago

    Perseverance is always the most important thing.

  • Annie Balaguer12 months ago

    I'm on the verge of giving up, but reading this is life-changing. Thanks!

  • Gal Mux12 months ago

    Words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing and indeed it takes trying and trying and lots of failure to get to get to where we want to be.

  • Lena Folkert12 months ago

    Nicely Done! No wonder I'm such a loser! lol Must be more confident!! Congrats on top story!

  • J G12 months ago

    Your piece deeply resonated with me, and I think it will with many others as well. It's often easy to overlook the journey that successful people have been through, focusing only on their current status. Your examples of Michelangelo, Brad Pitt, and Ed Sheeran were perfect reminders that everyone starts somewhere, and the path to success is filled with trials and errors. The key takeaway from your post, the essence of perseverance, is both inspiring and empowering. Thank you for this uplifting read. Looking forward to your future posts!

  • Thavien Yliaster12 months ago

    Fail is just an acronym for "First Attempt In Learning." If You don't put in the time on the grind success is something that You will never find. Skill sets, knowledge acquired, are all gifts to hone. It's not like a simple item to attain and easily own.

  • ARC12 months ago

    Gary, this is one of the most inspiring articles I've ever read. (And I've read literal thousands.) You flow so well *through* the 'real talk' and the 'pep talk'. Like red and blue fibers woven harmoniously together. This feels exceptionally real, grounded, and applicable. Excellent work and I am so glad this worthy piece received TS recognition. It led me to find both the article and you. Happy to read more of your work.

  • Hannah E. Aaron12 months ago

    Your article has such good advice! I will freely admit that, in some things like trying new recipes to cook, if I fail the first time, I probably will get frustrated and not attempt it again lol. However, I find that having instruction (like with writing) forces me to be more willing to go through the process of failing to achieve something.

  • L.C. Schäfer12 months ago

    On the other hand, if he can't draw feet... 🤪

  • Mohammed Darasi12 months ago

    i just read in a comment below that that this was from an old blog you had... i thought that was case when i read the bit about Will Smith hahaha. nice article though, and very true. in modern life we all want instant gratification, so when it doesn't come or it's hard, we turn away and give up.

  • KJ Aartila12 months ago

    You are right on! Except I don't really like Ed Sheeren, which I realize is not at all what this article is about, I do understand your reference - just for me personally, it's not a great reference. But that's just me. 😁 I thought it was an excellent article!

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