Have you ever given much thought to the difference which exists between “need” and “qualification?”
By that I mean, suppose a person is out of work and “needs” a job. The fact that he needs a job doesn’t necessarily indicate that he’s going to get one. If he’ll qualify for the job he wants, fine, he can get it. But just being alive and a human being doesn’t mean we rate anything more than we’ve taken the time and effort to qualify.
One of the best examples of this is a situation which exists in just about every town and city in the country. It’s the rundown, dirty, sloppy establishment that calls itself a restaurant.
I’ve seen thousands of them in traveling around the country, and I’m sure you have, too.
Stained, stereotyped menus, cracked dishes, dirty glassware, and a sign in front which reads, “EAT.” Sometimes the sign reads, “EAT GAS”. You’ve seen them! Well, this place needs your business; it needs it more than any other place in town. But it’s not going to get your business, is it? You’re not going to risk your health and the health of your family by going into a place like this.
And all the while, the proprietor of this trap is getting mad at the world because there’s not enough business. No matter how he cuts expenses, such as using the same menus for a year, smaller light bulbs, the same old dishes, cheap food, he just keeps going deeper in the hole.
He needs business desperately, but he hasn’t qualified for it. And “need” isn’t enough!
He sees the cars stopping at the big handsome place down the road, and the more cars parked around the place, the more other cars drive in. A lot of customers is the best advertisement in the world because they wouldn’t be there unless the place is pretty good. If you would ask the man in the first place why he doesn’t have any business, he’ll give you a long song and dance about life, people, and the world. He holds a low opinion of these people who drive by his place. If you ask him why the big place down the road gets all the business, he’ll tell you it’s money. They had the money to build a better place, he’ll tell you.
He won’t mention that the man who owns the successful business very probably began with a small place, operated it successfully and parlayed it into the big booming place he’s now operating. Nor will he mention or admit that even if it were possible for him to trade places with the other man, his now failing business would become successful and the big place would be bankrupt in a year. He has the need but forgets about the qualifications.
This story holds true in everything we do.
I think more people ought to wake up to the fact that qualifying for growth and continued success is a never-ending process.
Just as we should never confuse need with qualification, we should never confuse success with keeping it. You can be successful today and be forgotten completely a year from now if you don’t make it in your business to keep up with a constantly changing world, and just a little bit ahead of it for good measure. So, don’t tell the world what you “need.” Qualify for it and remain qualified, and your needs will take care of themselves.
The greatest results in life are usually attained by simple means and by the exercise of ordinary qualities.
These may be summed up for the most part in these two qualities: common sense and perseverance.