Assignment: When a project is not going on well, is it better for people to continue or just simply quit?
2009.11 Is it better for people to stop trying when they feel certain they will not succeed?
2009.1 Is striving to achieve a goal always the best course of action, or should people give up if they are not making progress?
2008.12 Is persistence more important than ability in determining a person's success?
2006.12 Is it better for people to be realistic or optimistic?
“To strive for a goal is to persist in trying; to persist in trying is to encounter hardships and adversities; to encounter hardships and adversities is to repeat disappointment and dismay; but the reward for a determined and resolute goal pursuer is that he is likely to leave a name more reputable and admirable than that of the rest of the world.” Resounding as these words are, they serve as not only an admonition but also an encouragement for those who are contemplating retreating from a project that is not going on well. Whether it is tough or smooth, a goal set should never be easily given up.
Many highly successful people are just ordinary individuals who kept on trying, and who did not give up when obstacles arose. Such an assertion could be aptly exemplified by Niels Abel, an eminent mathematician who had struggled for many years before his proving of the impossibility of solving the quintic equation by radicals was finally recognized. For over 250 years, all the mathematicians believed that such equation could be solved for roots. Therefore when Abler voiced his different opinion, he was immersed in ridicule and reproach. The rejection from all other professors aggravated Abel’s already terrible financial condition. Hopeless though it seemed, he never yielded, but determined to correct the wrong theory and reveal truth to the whole world. He not only continued his research, but also traveled to many countries and met different mathematicians to proclaim his findings and to gain their support. Although unrecognized during his lifetime, Abel made significant contribution to mathematics: under his guidance, the prevailing obscurities were cleared and new fields were entered so that modern mathematics can reach an incredible standard. It is Abel’s persistence that avoids our being misguided by the wrong erroneous theory.
Not wanting to face failure, many extremely talented people give up in the struggle to meet their goals when difficulties advent, thereby allowing their sparkle to be dimmed. Such is the case with Gregor Mendel, who did not strive for the recognition of his theory when meeting the denying of most of his temporaries. Cultivating great passion in the discipline of genetics, Mendel dedicated himself to the study of heredity by his pea experiments which were based on precise observation, careful calculation and detailed analysis. The eight years’ hard work gave birth to what is titled Mendel's Laws of Inheritance. However, when Mendel presented his theory, he not only was discriminated by the authoritative scientists of the Bruen Science Association for his divergence from the mainstream research direction, but also encountered skepticism due to his first attempt at combining biology, statistic and mathematics in researching. Regrettably, Mendel himself did not persevere in his study, but invested his energies elsewhere, which led to the burying of his profound work until the turn of the 20th century. Had Mendel persevered, genetic field might have benefited from his research thirty years earlier.
Seen from the above examples, it can be said that the biggest difference between people who succeed at any difficult undertaking and those who do not is probably not ability but persistence. Thus “Never give up” should be listed as one of our priorities when we are faced with adversities.