The Recipe for Success – -Kinitoli Aye, Asst Professor, Department of History



We live in times where people are obsessed with ‘success’ and ‘fame’; hence, we come across numerous platitudinous catch phrases and titles—be it on new media, books, magazines, internet ads, or large billboards, etc.—such as ‘How to be successful?’, ‘Keys to success!’, ‘How to attain wealth and success!’, ‘Guides to success’, and so forth. Yet, in the midst of such commotions, we become so parochial in our efforts to succeed that we begin seeking easier ways or ‘shortcuts’ and, in the process, forget the two essential aspects of Success: Hard work and Passion.  
                                                   The Recipe for Success  

Hard work, a key to success, is a well-known adage. Parents, teachers, as well as others, guide a child to work hard so that the child can achieve good scores. Though a little bit of luck invariably plays a positive role, I believe that hard work is the key to success. In fact, if only luck is to be considered, no one would work but just wait till their luck shines up. But this is not the case. Today we see that technology has improved to such an extent that a person can have a lunch in Paris and dinner in New York on the same day. There lie great contributions from people like the Wright Brothers and Henry Ford in inventing means of transportation, which were the result of their hard work and great efforts. If these people had waited for the D-day and luck to shine on them, we probably would still be using firewood to cook instead of using electrical ovens, consider flying a dream, and the world would not have been globalized.

A person can excel in his career due to hard work. If he sits at home, no one would offer him a job unless he initiates the job searching process. Promotions come because of hard work. Luck does not lie in the picture. Students excel only if they study hard. Many students after the graduation say that they weren’t lucky enough to get good marks, or the evaluators must have been very strict. But again these are merely excuses that can’t be given preference. Innovation does not happen without hard work. Hard work is what translates vision and ideas into results.

We definitely need to work smarter too. But work smarter and harder. They go together. It’s true that by working smarter and being more productive with your time, you may not have to work as hard to enjoy success. Those who adopt the motto of working smarter, not harder, will eventually be left in the dust by the competition. The best are always striving to get better. They are always pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone. They are always innovating and improving. Always remember Darwin’s theory of evolution.

When you work hard, people notice, maybe not right away, but eventually, and you will be rewarded. The key is to do your best every day and strive for excellence in all that you do. Rewards come to those who are humble and hungry; humble, as in, you are striving to learn, grow, and improve every day, and hungry with a passion to be your best.

There’s another important factor that goes side by side with hard work, and that is passion.Passion is understood as an intellectual, emotional, and physical drive that generates positive action. We each are passionate about something, and it is this passion that gives us a purpose in life, and we thereby pursue our goals in life. Whether one loves playing sports, listening to music, or spending time with their family, the most important element becomes the satisfaction and joy derived from the activity. Passions predetermine the personality and behavior of a person. Without any passion, our life would resemble emotionless mechanical things, dead and  deprived of any expressions. However, if a wrong passion is harbored, the end result might just as well be gravely disastrous. Those with a passion for material prosperity might be prone to unethical behaviors, while those with a passion for alcoholic drinks may waste away their life.

Be passionate about the right thing! We need to believe that we can do it better, have the desire to make it happen, and always hunger for success. However, before the much-awaited success comes our way, we need to have the undying energy to go through all odds that are going to come our way. Have the mindset to get up every time we are knocked down. Don’t be scared to take risks when you pursue your passion. Have the stamina to keep the fight going, and bear the sufferings that come along with it. If practicing for hours on the guitar makes the skin of your fingers break, or dancing the ballet to the tune of the nutcracker gives you ugly toes, your passion for these says ‘so be it’. Being passionate is being invested wholly towards fulfilling your dreams. The time, the efforts, the costs, the blood and sweat; it all counts. Always remember that passion calls in for changes, overcomes difficulties, generates actions, and inspires others.

I end my article with this quote from the 2006 American biographical drama film ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’- “Don’t ever let somebody tell you…you can’t do something. Not even me. Alright? You got a dream…You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it!”

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Anjan Behera, Dr. Salikyu Sangtam, Nivibo Yiki, and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email:

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