Napoleon Hill once said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

Bearing those words in mind, one can’t help but imagine the potential of the human being for greatness. The ability to succeed and achieve lies in every one of us. It is up to the individual to discover, harness and promote their talents to benefit self and humanity.

Along with this potential for success, however, comes the potential for failure. There is no one individual who has not gone down that path at least once in his or her life. Even the most successful people have experienced more than their fair share of failure. It is an imminent part of life. What separates the successful people from the rest of us, however, is their ability to persevere and survive through the tough times.

Definiteness of purpose or understanding the purpose of his or her life as well as the meaning of life, gives him or her the edge in the quest to move on. Although success may not be instantaneous or easy, with this attitude it becomes eventual and long-lasting and its attainment that much more appreciated.

At the root of failure lies something we have all faced at one time or another ? obstacles. Obstacles may include time, space, lack of resources or other people. Obstacles may be self inflicted or inflicted by others. Nearly every pathway toward success has been met by obstacles. These obstacles test the human will to persevere, survive and thrive, as well as to overcome, defeat and master them.

One of the characteristics of successful people is that they have learned to expect and overcome obstacles, and to use that adversity as a stepping stone toward reaching their goals.

At the root of success lies something all successful individuals have in common ? the will. The will is a very powerful and influential part of human life and is the backbone of every successful human endeavor. The will determines whether the individual gives up or continues to try toward their goals. Whether they continually strive to improve themselves or just settle for what they can get, or whether they learn to live or just merely make a living. Simply put ? the will is the backbone of the human being’s drive toward or from success.

Certainly during the individual’s strive for success, it is highly recommended to surround themselves with successful people and to follow successful models. The road to success will be a bit easier when the individual is surrounded by a culture encouraging, emphasizing and promoting it.

It will give the individual peace of mind and the will to persist through good times and bad. Unfortunately, there are some negative influences that will try to cause the individual to deviate from the striaght path.

Being serious and persistent about success and surrounding themselves with successful people will allow the individual to close their mind to negative, destructive influences.

In conclusion, since every life has a purpose under the heavens, it is up to the individual to discover and unleash the talents within to benefit self and others. The essay ends where it began, with another famous slogan ? a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Jackson is a member of the UR community and can be reached at

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