A formula for success

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

I would imagine it is everyone’s objective to be successful in his or her endeavors. That is why numerous books and workshops are available to help navigate those who may be unsure or uncertain in how to reach their goals. The truth is that many will fall short of materializing their dreams or goals because of factors beyond their control such as timing, luck and opportunity. But one cannot dismiss the adage that the only thing that beats a failure is a try. With that being said, I would encourage you to have a plan and put forth the energy and effort to make it happen instead of procrastinating or doubting yourself.

It is very important to surround yourself with positive and supportive people and stay clear from naysayers and people secretively hoping you fail out of jealousy. Be honest with yourself and have some realistic and obtainable goals. One must realize that we live in a very competitive world and you must be on top of your game.

While in conversation with a friend, I was reminded of the wisdom constantly sown by the elders and concerned adults in the extended family once making up our African American communities. It was a message of urgency and truth that as an African American growing up in this country, you would have to be better prepared than your White counterparts to survive and be successful. Anything less than your best was unacceptable. It was that mantra that propelled many Africans Americans to be successful in their various fields of endeavor—despite the racism, discrimination and oppression they encountered.

It has been an uphill struggle for many African Americans to maintain (much less be successful) in bringing their dreams to fruition. But again, they also remembered the adage from the elders that “what won’t kill you will only make you stronger.” Some African Americans set their goals so high that when they fell short, they were still on high land.

In the search for a simple and uncomplicated formula for success, I am again taken aback and reminded of the simple formula that our elders gave us in their unwavering wisdom. They told us to work hard, be patient, and be knowledgeable in your pursuits. They wanted us to have the education that so many of them were unable to attain due to prevailing circumstances during their lifetime. They personally sought fulfillment and solace in the achievements and success of their children.

As African Americans, we undeniably recognize that our children are extremely bright and gifted but often penalized by their environment and parent’s economic status. However, these factors do not stop many young children from feeling they are invincible and can conquer the world. But let’s not be naïve, realizing we have also created a world where many children, feel entitled—thinking the world owes them something.

While extremely talented and computer-savvy, many young adults entering the business world feel they should be escorted to the top of companies and businesses and given top positions and salaries without going through the ranks. Many young people don’t understand why everyone doesn’t recognize their talents and skills in their various genres’ by opening doors and bearing gifts for them.

Unfortunately you may find some young people (while extremely bright) are lazy and think they know it all and do just enough to get by. This can only be exacerbated when you have young people who are impatience and want what they want now without waiting for their designated time. But adding insult to injury, you find some subscribing entrants in many professions who are lazy, impatient, and impervious to listening to others. These are workers often lacking the knowledge necessary for them to grow professionally.

I personally encourage many of our young African American students to seek to be entrepreneurs, getting into a position to run their own businesses, helping to establish a Black economic base that is so badly needed. We can be in a better position to offer qualified African Americans the jobs so often denied them by so many predominately owned and run White companies.

The African American community has a responsibility to support our children in their efforts to realize their dreams, but they must follow the wisdom of their elders to be successful. Hard work, patience, and knowledge should be their guide to success.