The Tortoise and the Hare, in the Aesop’s Fable by that name, each had a hope for success as they competed against each other in a foot race. People and, in this instance, fictional animals generally do not enter competitions or races unless they have a hope for success.
A hope for success permeates all society.
Even before a child is born, most parents hope for the baby’s success in being born a living, healthy baby with ten fingers and ten toes.
And later most parents hope for: the child’s successful child development, cognitive and educational success, success in making friends, success in spiritual development, success in finding a life partner, and success in becoming a responsible person with a successful career, etc.
As children mature into adults, they begin to assimilate some or all the parent(s) hopes for them, and they develop their own hopes for success. Therefore, it is important that children, at an early age, learn both how to win and how to lose with dignity and grace.
Children and adults learn a valuable lesson from the fable about the Tortoise and the Hare: It takes more than self-confidence to succeed.
The Hare was very confident he would succeed in winning the race; but, as we later learn, the Hare’s self-confidence did not help him win. It was the Tortoise who won the race, and he succeeded in winning by using a steady, stay-on-course, put one foot in front of the other, and keep-on-moving positive, mental attitude.
Henry David Thoreau could have written about the Tortoise when he said:
“If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
The Tortoise kept the right mental attitude toward success. Thomas Jefferson said:
“Nothing can stop the person with the right mental attitude from achieving their goal: Nothing on earth can help the person with the wrong mental attitude.”
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”…Harriet Beecher Stowe
Without a steady, positive, mental attitude, people do not have much hope for success. Former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot said, “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.”
There is much evidence that people who keep a positive, mental attitude–a steady, stay-on-course, put one foot in front of the other, keep on moving, never-give-up attitude–are more likely to succeed than those with greater self-confidence and ability who do not keep such an attitude.
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