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The three ‘tions’ to follow for success

Edison once said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. In the modern-day world when each and every student is facing daunting competition from all sects, being a genius alone cannot guarantee success.

If you are chasing academic success, then let me tell you that it is definitely not guaranteed by following any single rule or a set of rules, but the road to success will definitely be fruitful and enriching if you follow the three ‘tions’. Let us see what these three ‘tions’ are.

What are the three ‘tions’?

Two out of the three ‘tions’ are pretty clear thanks to Edison, that is, ‘Inspiration’ and ‘Perspiration’. The third spoke in the trident is named ‘Aspiration’. In fact, I would say that this is the first pillar. Let me quickly define these three pillars.

Aspiration means the ambition to do something. It sets out your eventual goal. It lays the foundation for everything you will and won’t do. Let’s say, scoring 95% in your exam can be termed as your aspiration.

Inspiration means something or someone that excites you, or makes you believe that you can achieve your desired goal or aspiration. It is the strong urge to do something. In the example that I cited, the urge or the inspiration is to achieve the 95% score target.

And finally, perspiration means the hard work and efforts you put to achieve the goal that you aspired for and got inspired to attain.

Now, you might feel that aspiration and inspiration sound the same. But there is a slight difference. I shall get to that point soon.

Why alter the original saying by Edison?

Well, to begin with, the original saying still stands true. But a modern-day student faces a plethora of challenges which makes it necessary to tweak the saying, just slightly though.

So, here it is:

Instead of “Genius”, the colloquial term I would like to use is “Success”. As a student, whatever you aspire to achieve is deemed as your success, genius or no genius. This is one stress that has to go out of your mind that you need to be a genius to be successful. This is cliched to say the least.


How do I apply the three ‘tions’ as a student?

So now that we know what the three pillars are, the primary question that arises is how do we implement them. In order to achieve success, there is a one percent contribution of your aspiration, one percent will come from your inspiration and the remaining ninety eight percent will come from your perspiration.

Let me break it down further for clarity. So, let’s just say for the sake of generality, that I am a student. Only then I will feel what a student feels. Now, I aspire to score high marks in my final exam. This is just an aspiration. Everyone of us has it. Your friend, your classmates, your entire batch, everyone. So basically, I haven’t put any thought or eagerness to this goal. I have essentially put in just one percent of the total desired input.

Now, I actually put my heart and soul to it and am really determined to achieve that high score. This has added inspiration to my aspiration. And with this, I have added another one percent to the grand total. This has also narrowed down the set of people headed on this path. Not all of them will develop this eagerness post the initial aspiration.

Now comes the main part. The urge to achieve a high score does not guarantee a high score. I have put in herculean efforts and a colossal amount of hard work to achieve my goal. I study extremely hard and go beyond my capabilities to get to the target. This is what accounts for the remaining 98% of the total. And the recipe for success is established. Plus the race to success has now narrowed down between few students only.

Is my success guaranteed if I follow the three ‘tions’ diligently?

I love the cake my mother makes. But I have observed that each time she makes it, it doesn’t taste exactly the same. I wonder why! I am sure you must have observed the same. She has the recipe, she knows how to make the cake, and she is determined to feed me the best cake possible. Yet, somehow, it does not work out that way.

Success is exactly the same. No matter how diligently you follow the three ‘tions’, success is not guaranteed. Many other factors could be associated with it, but that discussion is for some other time. What is guaranteed is that your efforts have led you to learn way beyond your capabilities. You know that you can push yourself harder. As Aristotle once said “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”

Even Phunsukh Wangdu (from 3 Idiots) had said “Don’t run after success, run after excellence. Success will come to you automatically.”

Closing remarks

We have established that success has a fixed recipe. But the end dish may not be the same as we had intended it to be. But that should not deter us from going for it each and every year. Study hard and learn harder. You will end up being an excellent student.

At LEAD, we prepare students not just for academic success, but for success in life. Each student at LEAD Powered school is equipped with the following 5 essential skills:

  • Conceptual Understanding
  • Thinking Skills
  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Exposure

LEAD Parents

About the author

Romal is a design manager by profession, an educator by experience and a writer by passion. He has an experience of 10 years in the ed-tech sector with 5 years in the content domain and the rest five years in the creative domain with a sporadic sprinkle of following his passion for writing.

Romal Bhansali

The three ‘tions’ to follow for success

Edison once said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. In the modern-day world when each and every student is facing daunting competition from all sects, being a genius alone cannot gu

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Romal Bhansali  |  Parents


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