Life lessons appear in the form of challenges; tasks that require you to stretch yourself and get inventive with your existing resources and skill sets.

Some are expected and some arrive as a nasty shock.

Quitting happens when you choose to walk away from the challenge, leaving the moment to smoulder behind you. There is no shame in quitting – provided that you choose to learn from the experience –otherwise you’ve wasted precious time.

Failure happens when you exhaust all your resources and the challenge beats you. Your willpower was never an issue, but a lack of resources and preparation were. Education, determination and persistence eventually trump all failure – unless you quit.

Success happens the moment you learn from your failures and apply the lessons. The raw energy of willpower isn’t strong enough to create notable success. It is discipline and control that carries you over the finishing line and those traits are forged when you decide that quitting is no longer an option.

Discipline Is Created When Quitting Is Close

During the thick of any challenge, there is a ‘make or break’ moment that will determine the next step you take and the eventual outcome of the situation.

That moment typically comes disguised as exhaustion.

You will feel tired of putting effort into the current problem. Your resources will be stressed and your limits will be painfully apparent.

This is when most people quit and walk away from the moment.

Don’t. Embrace it.

You’re in life’s spiritual furnace. It has the power to transform iron bars into swords –and average men into great leaders.

When you’re in the furnace, push hard and dig deep. You’ll either fail and hardwire your spirit for discipline, or you’ll endure and conquer the obstacle in front of you, marching on victorious.

The iron cries in the fire, but the sword looks back and realises why.

Marcus Oakey

Marcus is an author, consultant and entrepreneur. He divides his time between writing, mentoring global leaders in the science of charisma and a borderline obsession with the lost art of mind mastery.