One of the best clues to whether someone understands the art of being successful is their reaction to the important challenges that come at them. Those who will succeed have a characteristic way of reacting to great challenges, which may present themselves as opportunities, problems, or dangers.
The succeeders set everything else aside when they believe that the right time to cope with a major challenge has arrived. Then they put all their energy into dealing with that challenge. They face it squarely, although this doesn’t always mean they will make a frontal assault on it.
Succeeders look at problems and opportunities realistically, but their solutions often involve slipping through the side door. They go with what works, knowing that frontal attacks are beaten off more often than they succeed.
Those who have chosen failure, disaster, and mediocrity do the opposite. They ignore the problem or opportunity as long and thoroughly as they can. Instead of facing the difficulty squarely when they finally can’t ignore it any more, they moan and groan, run to and fro, and waste time trying to get help where no help will be forthcoming.
Rather than taking action, they worry. When they finally make their move, they hit the danger with too little too late, or chase after an already lost opportunity in a futile effort to come from behind.
The key element in dealing with all challenges, whether they are problems or opportunities, is timing. When you’re faced with a challenge, take fast and effective action that has a good chance of winning, or sit that one out. Make your decision early and then live with it. No move at all is better than a late move.