Spirit of success essay

Mere desire cannot bring your success.

The desire should be weighed against factors like capability and resources. This is the basic requirement of success. The next important thing is the eagerness, earnestness and the urge to be successful. It is the driving force which decides the success. It is the first step of the ladder of success.

One should be always in high spirit. He should hold his vocation and calling in high esteem.

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Lack of such spirit leads to inferiority complex which is a big stumbling block on the path to success. Time is also a deciding factor. Timely action bears the desired fruit. Time once lost can never be regained. Time is opportunity, so grab the time with all the promptness and activity.

Delays have dangerous consequences. Rest is the rust of life. Only the punctual and committed have succeeded in life. Life of great men is examples for this. They had all these ingredients in abundance which helped them rose to the peak of success.

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Hard labour is one of the basic pre-requisites of success. There is no substitute to hard labour. It alone can take one to the peak of success. Every success has a ratio of five per cent inspiration and ninety-five per cent perspiration. It is the patience, persistence and perseverance which play decisive role in success.

Failures are the pillars of success. They point to the drawbacks which need to be removed. The success of all the great men in the world bears testimony to the fact. By pouring out his tale of woe to anyone he happened to meet including his friends Peter George Patmore and James Sheridan Knowles , he was able to find a cathartic outlet for his misery.

But catharsis was also provided by his recording the course of his love in a thinly disguised fictional account, published anonymously in May as Liber Amoris; or, The New Pygmalion.

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Enough clues were present so that the identity of the writer did not remain hidden for long. Critics have been divided as to the literary merits of Liber Amoris , a deeply personal account of frustrated love that is quite unlike anything else Hazlitt ever wrote. Wardle suggests that it was compelling but marred by sickly sentimentality, and also proposes that Hazlitt might even have been anticipating some of the experiments in chronology made by later novelists. One or two positive reviews appeared, such as the one in the Globe , 7 June "The Liber Amoris is unique in the English language; and as, possibly, the first book in its fervour, its vehemency, and its careless exposure of passion and weakness—of sentiments and sensations which the common race of mankind seek most studiously to mystify or conceal—that exhibits a portion of the most distinguishing characteristics of Rousseau, it ought to be generally praised".

However, such complimentary assessments were the rare exception. Whatever its ultimate merits, Liber Amoris provided ample ammunition for Hazlitt's detractors, [] and even some of his closest friends were scandalised. For months he did not even have contact with the Lambs. And the strait-laced Robinson found the book "disgusting", "nauseous and revolting", "low and gross and tedious and very offensive", believing that "it ought to exclude the author from all decent society".

There were times in this turbulent period when Hazlitt could not focus on his work. But often, as in his self-imposed seclusion at Winterslow, he was able to achieve a "philosophic detachment", [] and he continued to turn out essays of remarkable variety and literary merit, most of them making up the two volumes of Table-Talk.

A number were saved for later publication in The Plain Speaker in , while others remained uncollected. Some of these essays were in large part retrospectives on the author's own life "On Reading Old Books" [], for example, along with others mentioned above. In others, he invites his readers to join him in gazing at the spectacle of human folly and perversity "On Will-making" [], or "On Great and Little Things" [], for example.

At times he scrutinises the subtle workings of the individual mind as in "On Dreams" [] ; or he invites us to laugh at harmless eccentricities of human nature "On People with One Idea" [].


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Many of these "Table-Talk" essays display Hazlitt's interest in genius and artistic creativity. There are specific instances of literary or art criticism for example "On a Landscape of Nicholas Poussin" [] and "On Milton's Sonnets" [] but also numerous investigations of the psychology of creativity and genius "On Genius and Common Sense" [], "Whether Genius Is Conscious of Its Powers" [], and others. Hazlitt's fascination with the extremes of human capability in any field led to his writing "The Fight" published in the February New Monthly Magazine.

This direct, personal account of a prize fight, commingling refined literary allusions with popular slang, [] was controversial in its time as depicting too "low" a subject.

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Not quite like any other essay by Hazlitt, it proved to be one of his most popular, was frequently reprinted after his death, and nearly two centuries later was judged to be "one of the most passionately written pieces of prose in the late Romantic period". Another article written in this period, " On the Pleasure of Hating " ; included in The Plain Speaker , is on one level a pure outpouring of spleen, a distillation of all the bitterness of his life to that point.

He links his own vitriol, however, to a strain of malignity at the core of human nature:. The pleasure of hating, like a poisonous mineral, eats into the heart of religion, and turns it to rankling spleen and bigotry; it makes patriotism an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other lands: it leaves to virtue nothing but the spirit of censoriousness, and a narrow, jealous, inquisitorial watchfulness over the actions and motives of others. To one twentieth-century critic, Gregory Dart, this self-diagnosis by Hazlitt of his own misanthropic enmities was the sour and surreptitiously preserved offspring of Jacobinism.

Indeed I do; and chiefly for not having hated and despised the world enough". Not only do the "Table-Talk" essays frequently display "trenchant insights into human nature", [] they at times reflect on the vehicle of those insights and of the literary and art criticism that constitute some of the essays. In Table-Talk , Hazlitt had found the most congenial format for this thoughts and observations. A broad panorama of the triumphs and follies of humanity, an exploration of the quirks of the mind, of the nobility but more often the meanness and sheer malevolence of human nature, the collection was knit together by a web of self-consistent thinking, a skein of ideas woven from a lifetime of close reasoning on life, art, and literature.

As he explained in "On Familiar Style", he strove to fit the exact words to the things he wanted to express and often succeeded—in a way that would bring home his meaning to any literate person of some education and intelligence. These essays were not quite like anything ever done before.

William Hazlitt - Wikipedia

They attracted some admiration during Hazlitt's lifetime, but it was only long after his death that their reputation achieved full stature, increasingly often considered among the best essays ever written in English. In Hazlitt also published anonymously Characteristics: In the Manner of Rochefoucault's Maxims , a collection of aphorisms modelled explicitly, as Hazlitt noted in his preface, on the Maximes — of the Duc de La Rochefoucauld.

Never quite as cynical as La Rochefoucauld's, many, however, reflect his attitude of disillusionment at this stage of his life. There are some persons who never succeed, from being too indolent to undertake anything; and others who regularly fail, because the instant they find success in their power, they grow indifferent, and give over the attempt.

But they also lacked the benefit of Hazlitt's extended reasoning and lucid imagery, and were never included among his greatest works. At the beginning of , though worn out by thwarted passion and the venomous attacks on his character following Liber Amoris , Hazlitt was beginning to recover his equilibrium. He also found relief, finally, from the Sarah Walker imbroglio.


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  • Little is known about this Scottish-born widow of the Chief Justice of Grenada , or about her interaction with Hazlitt. She may have been attracted to the idea of marrying a well-known author. The arrangement seems to have had a strong element of convenience for both of them. Certainly Hazlitt nowhere in his writings suggests that this marriage was the love match he had been seeking, nor does he mention his new wife at all. In fact, after three and half years, tensions likely resulting from as Stanley Jones put it Hazlitt's "improvidence", his son's dislike of her, and neglect of his wife due to his obsessive absorption in preparing an immense biography of Napoleon, resulted in her abrupt departure, and they never lived together again.

    For now, in any case, the union afforded the two of them the opportunity to travel. First, they toured parts of Scotland, then, later in , began a European tour lasting over a year. Before Hazlitt and his new bride set off for the continent, he submitted, among the miscellany of essays that year, one to the New Monthly on "Jeremy Bentham", the first in a series entitled "Spirits of the Age". Several more of the kind followed over the next few months, at least one in The Examiner.

    Together with some newly written, and one brought in from the "Table-Talk" series, they were collected in book form in as The Spirit of the Age: Or, Contemporary Portraits. These sketches of twenty-five men, prominent or otherwise notable as characteristic of the age, came easily to Hazlitt. Others he knew personally, and for years their philosophy or poetry had been the subject of his thoughts and lectures.

    There were philosophers, social reformers, poets, politicians, and a few who did not fall neatly into any of these categories. Bentham, Godwin, and Malthus, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Byron were some of the most prominent writers; Wilberforce and Canning were prominent in the political arena; and a few who were hard to classify, such as The Rev.

    Edward Irving , the preacher, William Gifford , the satirist and critic, and the recently deceased Horne Tooke , a lawyer, politician, grammarian, and wit. Many of the sketches presented their subjects as seen in daily life.

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    We witness, for example, Bentham "tak[ing] a turn in his garden" with a guest, espousing his plans for "a code of laws 'for some island in the watery waste'", or playing the organ as a relief from incessant musings on vast schemes to improve the lot of mankind. As Bentham's neighbour for some years, Hazlitt had had good opportunity to observe the reformer and philosopher at first hand. He had already devoted years to pondering much of the thinking espoused by several of these figures. Thoroughly immersed in the Malthusian controversy , for example, Hazlitt had published A Reply to the Essay on Population as early as , [] and the essay on Malthus is a distillation of Hazlitt's earlier criticisms.

    Where he finds it applicable, Hazlitt brings his subjects together in pairs, setting off one against the other, although sometimes his complex comparisons bring out unexpected similarities, as well as differences, between temperaments that otherwise appear to be at opposite poles, as in his reflections on Scott and Byron.