Leah Alissa Bayer's Portfolio
DESIGN [ leader ] RESEARCH [ futurist ]

Writings

Persistence Isn't the Key to Success, This Is

Crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk…..

PLUNK.

That’s the sound I woke up to in the middle of the night. Tiny little scrapings followed by a big, heavy plop. Over and over and over again.

The room was pitch black and otherwise silent and in my disorientedness I couldn’t place where the foreign sound was coming from. I pulled the sheets up over my head and held them down tight, breathing as softly as I could, hoping whatever creepy thing that was lurking in the shadows would just go away. But it didn’t.

Crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk…..

PLUNK.

The light switch was just a handful of feet away from me but I wouldn’t dare step my foot down into the unknown - that thing was surely waiting for me on the ground, listening to my thoughts and stalking my toes. So I felt my way to the nightstand and pushed my torso up, stretching an arm as far as I could across the hexagonal room to reach for the switch.

Flick. Lights.

But nothing else.

I froze, held my breath, and waited, listening.

Crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk…..

Ah ha! It was definitely coming from the opposite corner near the slightly opened sliding glass door. I always kept it cracked just enough so that my dog could access the yard when he needed via the pet door in the screen just beyond.

I trained my eyes on the transparent plane across the room, searching for movement, a little glimpse of the beast of the night.

PLUNK.

There. On the floor.

Oh god, no. Not a fucking potato bug?! One of the most disgusting, reject, nightmare insects this world has ever created dropped down to the ground on his back and was scrambling his fat little legs in the air to try and flip himself over. Ew! I stood there on my bed, disturbed, and just watched him - what the hell was he doing in my room?

That fleshy body managed to roll itself over and wander towards the corner of the track of the door, turning around so his rear was facing the vertical metal frame. He then walked himself back, stepping each leg up against the wall behind him one at a time until he was completely upside down. And then he climbed, backwards, up the track, pushing outward to lift himself up slowly.

Crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk scraped his little feet upward.

Where the hell did he think he was going? How long had he been attempting this pointless, insane journey to nowhere?

And then, sure enough…

PLUNK.

On the ground again, thrashing about, but determined to roll himself over and try again.

 

 

Persistence. 
Perseverance. 
Dedication. 
Determination.
 
And the latest favorite, Grit.

What are… the traits of successful people?

Totally admirable characteristics; they’ll definitely get you… somewhere.

But uh, where they hell are you going? And why are you going there? 
Does what you’re doing even make any sense?

See, those traits above define successful action but they’re leaving out half of the deal: self reflection, self understanding, mapping out the big picture. You know, the part where you think about things first before you relentlessly fight your way through the unknown.

You have no idea where you’re going, but dammit, your persistence is admirable!

No. No it isn’t. Life is not an “A for effort” game.

I’ve watched many friends and strangers struggle blindly towards the illusion of success only to fall on their backs over and over again, cursing the man or god or whatever it is for their unlucky existence. In their minds they’re working hard and doing what they’re supposed to so they deserve good fortune. It’s not their fault, they’re just born to lose while other people were destined to win.

But not a single one of them stopped to consider what success looks like for their life, or why it was that they keep failing, or what their true strengths are. These people aren’t unlucky, they just haven’t done a crucial part of the job that successful people do: observe, think, plan.

Foresight. Without foresight, persistence is futile.

Successful people have foresight.

 

 

Crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk crrrgghhk…..

PLUNK.

Click click click click …CHOMP!

That was the sound of my dog running over and eating the potato bug alive.

The potato bug had no foresight.

Don’t be the potato bug.

Don’t get eaten alive.

 

Think before you climb.