To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.
~ Tony Dorsett
Tony Dorsett, a former American professional football player in the NFL, retired due to injuries after playing eleven seasons. Throughout his college and professional careers, he was a force to be reckoned with and knew what it takes to be successful.
In this quote, Tony Dorsett insists that in order to succeed we must “… find something to hold on to…”. In all likelihood this can mean anything from a personal goal to an idea or another person. For the moment, Id like to focus on the last four words in the segment I quoted earlier in this paragraph. For Dorsett, it matters little what the something turns out to be, but that we hold on to it – we embrace it. This quality, tenacity, is not to be glossed over or ignored.
Success is rarely easy to achieve, as a successful person must endure setbacks and failures along the journey’s path. All too often, people are discouraged or dissuaded from the arduous expedition. Failure, without question, is a reality that a person must confront, analyze and crystallize the lessons it has to teach. If a person who wishes to succeed does not exercise tenacity, they, in effect, let go of their goal. They allow the disappointment and the pain of the roadblock to take away their dream. There is no success if there is no holding on.
If I desire success, what do I need to hold on to? Dorsett’s next few words suggest something that we hold on to, something that is a motivational factor. I believe that motivation that comes from within is far more potent than any external force. It is mine – not like a material possession whose value often fades with time; rather it is part of me. My mind gave birth to it. My heart embraced it. It has staying power because it lights my fire from within and is less vulnerable to the stresses and strains that life puts in my path.
Dorsett completes his thought by advising that we find something to hold on to that is inspirational. I find the most powerful inspiration comes to me from my inner circle. Going back to Dorsett’s idea about tenacity, my inner circle are those I care about the most; they have the greatest inspirational power in my life. They know me, they care about me and they have my trust. Trust gives the inspirational words or example they provide, great power.
Although we have those who inspire us to hold on to our dreams and goals, in the end we are alone. We create the dream; we guard it jealously and ferociously from anyone, or any circumstance, that would steal it from us. We decide to act on the dream – to give it life and make it reality. Our motivation is our own and it is bolstered by inspiration from without. But it starts with me.
Because this journey starts with me, I must decide that I’m willing to pay the price that success demands. Do we always know what the price of our success – both in terms of the cost of achieving it, and in terms of dealing with it? I guess that depends on what that success looks like. Fame certainly has its cost on our privacy and peace of mind. There are also the costs involved in the journey and maintaining that success. No matter which aspect you consider, it all boils down to the individual and the choices made. Success will be ours if we want it badly enough to do what it takes to achieve it.