Archive for August, 2009

Don’t be your own enemy

August 11, 2009

I’ve read somewhere – “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t”. Indeed, the greatest oak was once a little nut that held its ground.

And then courtesy of Ben Casnocha, I read this Boston Globe piece on persistence. An excerpt –

“I’d bet that there isn’t a single highly successful person who hasn’t depended on grit,” says Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who helped pioneer the study of grit. “Nobody is talented enough to not have to work hard, and that’s what grit allows you to do.”

So, that’s it. The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running. Intelligence is clearly secondary if you stack it up against persistence. No quantum of intelligence will help you “get there” unless you’re willing to persevere. Think of the postage stamp; its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence but by falling often.

Like Jonah Lehrer says in that article “Everybody knows that things fall – it took Newton to explain why”.

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. Stalwart investors that dabbled in the stock markets will vouch for it. There could be as many dissuaders that stress upon the perils of stock market investing to deflect every genuine investor. They pound you with instances of past crashes and bust stories, why stock markets are unsafe and why one should keep away. But what if someone is left with not many alternative fields of expertise? What if he finds it the most exciting place to be?

I would just say this. Stick around and be dogged about it! Don’t be your own enemy !