What Is the Key to Success?

TWO enterprising young men were methodically preparing a strange-looking machine for a crucial test. Suddenly, a violent gust of wind grabbed the fragile apparatus, whirled it into the air, and with a sickening thud brought it crashing down. Discouraged, the men stood in silence. Their meticulous hard work lay crumpled in a twisted pile of wood and metal.

For Orville and Wilbur Wright, what happened that October day in 1900 was not the first frustrating setback in their attempt to construct a heavier-than-air flying machine. They had already spent some years and a significant amount of money experimenting.

Finally, though, their persistence paid off. On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S.A., the Wright brothers managed to launch a motor-driven prototype that flew for 12 seconds​—short as far as flights go now, but long enough to change the world forever!

Success in most endeavors depends largely on patient perseverance. Whether it is mastering a new language, learning a trade, or even developing a relationship, most things of value are achieved only through sustained effort. “Nine times out of ten,” says author Charles Templeton, “success is directly attributable to one thing: hard work.” Columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., notes: “We talk about talent, we nod to luck, but so often, we ignore the most important things. The hard work and many failures. The arriving early and staying late.”

This confirms what the Bible long ago stated: “The hand of the diligent one is the one that will rule.” (Proverbs 12:24) Diligence means that we persevere in our efforts. This is necessary if we want to achieve what we set out to do. What is perseverance? How can we persevere in the pursuit of our goals, and in what should we persevere? These questions will be answered in the following article.

[Picture Credit Line on page 3]

U.S. National Archives photo