This is a lovely, short but sweet TED talk given by Angela Lee Duckworth about the value of “grit” in success:
Personally, I couldn’t agree with Angela more. My step-mother teaches Gifted and Talented in elementary school and if there is anything I have learned over the years through watching her and her students and learning, it is that gifts and talent help, but they are not determinations of success. Perseverance determines success. The ability to hear “no” and keep going until it becomes a “yes”. People with high IQs often fail while people with low IQs often succeed, because it has less to do with intelligence or race or wealth and more to do with the determination and the will to succeed.
Angela’s talk is inspiring and a needed reminder. I have not had anything published in about seven years, but that doesn’t mean I am not producing. Every day I wake up and I make something. Every day, I produce a little more. Every day it actually gets a bit easier. I draw and I write and I hone my skills, and I persevere.
I still worry about the bills and keeping a roof over my head. I have turned down many many well paying jobs because I would not have had the time to create my own works, and so I have stuck to less well paying temp work instead.
Why? Because I still believe. I believe in myself. I believe in my work. I have faith as well that we each have a special path in life. But I also still believe that eventually perseverance will pay off, and I see the result: every day my art gets a little bit better. Every day, I write a little more easily. And some day, all those will culminate into what I believe will be many good things that people are willing to pay to see and read.
The point is, don’t ever give up, because it’s is the people who don’t give up that eventually succeed.