12.12.2010 Feature Article

The Price Of The Prize

The Price Of The Prize
12.12.2010 LISTEN

A very realistic quote from Marva Collins states that; "Success doesn't come to you, you go to it". Ben Sweetland also adds that "Success is a journey, not a destination." We all have things that we wish to have or achieve sometime in the future. It may be a dream to achieve something big in life that would bring us much fulfilment. Such dreams, contrary to our wishes may involve us exerting much effort as they may hardly come to us on the cheap side.

In this rather brief and straightforward piece, I focus my attention on a younger audience although the subject matter may apply to people of all ages. I would endeavour therefore to communicate in as clear a manner as possible to ensure that they can receive my message in the manner intended.

Most young people may have a particular 'prize' in their minds but the question that this article poses is whether they are willing to pay the 'price' to achieve it. For the purposes of this article, the price is defined as the cost at which anything is obtained. The prize on the other hand is a reward for victory or superiority, as in a contest or competition. It may also refer to anything striven for, worth striving for, or much valued. In putting the two definitions together, this article asks whether the youth of today are willing to invest the time and effort needed to realise their goals and dreams or whether they would rather cut corners to have what they think they deserve. It goes on further to suggest ways of achieving that 'prize'.

The proliferation of get-rich-quick schemes in these times that we live in is a real bother to some of us. Most young people are daily subscribing to the view that you can follow some unconventional means to make it. They follow unusual paths in their quest to strike it big. Occasionally, the odd person might make it. Later in life though, some of these youth will discover that they had been chasing the wind all along. They have forgotten that nothing ventured is nothing gained.

For all the young people out there who are willing to pay the price to have that all-important prize, I present some nuggets of wisdom to you. Sometime in the future, I shall tell my full story but these nuggets of wisdom have stood me very well in life.

Practical steps to achieve your desired prize

1. Have a vision for your life
A vision is a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation like having a vision of wealth and glory. Another easy way to define a vision is, “a mental picture of a future state”.

2. Have a well defined goal in life
Whereas a vision is much broader, goals may be deemed to be a series of achievements that should lead to the achievement of that vision. Goals are open-ended though, compared to objectives.

Denis Watley offers some words of wisdom, “The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them”. Charles C. Noble also adds that; “You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures”.

3. Break your goals down into objectives
Objectives are a much narrower version of goals. They are your goals broken down into achievable chunks.

4. Start working on your goals and objectives
Helmut Schmidt advices that, “Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps”. It is always said that, Rome was not built in a day. You must start working on your dreams now if they are going to cease from being just dreams to reality. It is not too late to do something. Remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a step.

5. Put performance indicators in place
An unexamined life is not worth living. You must put measures in place to ensure that you are consistently checking on your progress. This should enable you to spot any drift and rectify any problems that may arise along the way.

Fitzhugh Dodson rightly notes that, “Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination”. What you need to realise though is that life is not static and no matter how well you plan, there are external factors that may affect your plans and this would require you to continuously adjust your plans.

Another key attribute that you need is dedication to your vision. Do not expect everybody to believe in your vision. You need to believe in your own vision and be dedicated to it. Stephen A. Brennan says this in a very definite manner, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success”. There are people who would laugh at your vision and make a mockery of it. You need to be forthright in your belief and not discard your dreams just because somebody does not buy it.

The fact that you have a dream and a plan in place does not mean the dream would achieve itself. You need to diligently apply yourself to that dream. There is no point in planning when you are not ready to put in the hardwork required to achieve a dream. You may fail along the way but you must remain diligent in what you are doing. Keep working at it and do not give up!

It is not too late to start. Do not sit down and keep postponing when you would begin. Some of us expect things to happen by a miracle. It is true that miracles happen but God would not do by a miracle what he has asked you to do by obedience.

Life is not a bed of roses so do not expect anything to come to you on a silver platter. Always remember that, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”.

Do you really want that prize that badly, then you must be willing to pay the price. The prize looks good but the price may be very expensive. If you want an uncommon prize then be prepared to pay an uncommon price. I wish you the very best of all your dreams and do always remember that for you to achieve that treasured prize, you must be prepared to pay the price needed.

I conclude this brief piece with two quotes about dreams, never forget though to pay the price to achieve your dreams;

1. By Louise Driscoll
Hold fast your dreams!
Within your heart
Keep one still, secret spot
Where dreams may go.

2. By Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Dr. Frank Robert Silverson is the author of articles like Gambling - Addiction or Choice (Parts 1-4), Contemplations of an extra-marital affair: a didactic (Parts 1-3), The Ultimate Leak, and Free Press or Foolishness. He is currently working on Pornography – The Silent Killer (Parts 1&2), Churches – Commerce or Compassion (Parts 1&2), and Politicians - Machiavellians or Messiahs (Parts 1&2) soon to be published.

Email: [email protected]