We all know how easy it is to follow the majority, to do as everyone else seems to be doing, to do only that which is considered average. It takes a strong individual to live a life based on his or her own ideals. Such a person shows strength simply in ability to remain on a chosen path regardless of the inevitable counter forces.
It is the fear of these counter forces that keeps most of us away from our natural desire to learn in order to fulfill our desire for acceptance. It is the fear of these counter forces that threatens us to inaction rather than face failure.
Although we tend to restrict ourselves, we admire those who have the tenacity to face up to these forces in order to live the way they choose. To those who have used their mind to perceive and understand the unknown we recognize their intellect. To those who go the extra step of being a living example of their beliefs we recognize their character.
We offer our highest admiration to those who act, those who demonstrate character. We recognize that it is not only amazing to have reasoning power and knowledge, it is incredible to veer from the norm and act in a way as to be a living example of one’s beliefs. Through our admiration we realize that character is higher than intellect.
Now, it would seem that rather than placing these people on a pedestal , it would be better to let them serve as models for us. Rather than merely admiring their daring we could stand to benefit from their example, the example of action.
Such an example was given to us by Thomas Edison and his Insomnia Team who were named as such because of their long hours. He chose to spend most of his waking hours with these men, who were just as dedicated as he, working endlessly on a given belief.
Edison also made a point to clearly demonstrate his determination through an open door policy with the media. Though he was mainly doing this in an attempt to secure financial backing it gave the rest of the world a clear picture of this man’s character.
Edison and the Insomnia Team showed their persistence and determination often throughout the years. One of the inventions that called heavily on these qualities was the light bulb. Edison and his Insomnia Team could have given up after a couple attempts, yet even after a couple hundred attempts; however, they continued on even into thousands of attempts.
Edison could not be discouraged; rationalizing that since they had only found thousands of ways it could not be done, he could only be closer to the right answer. Edison and the Insomnia Team above intelligence showed character. Their determination pushed aside the counter forces and their diligence was rewarded after over three thousand attempts.
Determination such as this should be ours since it is the very substance that promotes action. This, of course, is easier said than done. Recognizing that action is spurred by determination may be a key to a new way of living.
If we believe in something, the beliefs of others, particularly those who speak of impossibilities should be ignored. Since we all are able to rationalize that error is part of human nature we should not be afraid of it, rather we should look at it more like Edison who saw it as a stepping stone bringing him closer to his goal.
In realizing that character is higher that intellect we should not only admire it in others we should strive to make it our own.
This empowering thought is fuel to drive us to success. We have the power to be the best we can be by acting on our dreams. We can learn what we need along the way.
By: John Watson