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success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone

Success is achieved through dedication and effort, not hopes and dreams or wishful thinking. You need to work on your writing every single day if you really want to be a famous author because success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone.
See also: depend, not, on, success

put (one's) backbone into (something)

To exert a strong effort toward (doing) something. Come on, we need to get this car off the road. Put your backbone into it and push! It's clear that the legislators have put their backbones into crafting a bill that will find support across party lines, as well in the general population.
See also: backbone, put

to the backbone

Through and through; thoroughly; in every manner or respect. The fellow is stubborn to the backbone; he won't even listen to my plan the whole way through! Though he grew up in America, Henry is still British to the backbone.
See also: backbone

put backbone into (one)

To embolden one; to give one courage or determination. All of their encouragement put backbone into me to tell the boss we wanted better working conditions. She was afraid of changing careers, but the thought of staying in this dead end job forever put backbone into Janet.
See also: backbone, put

put backbone into someone

encourage someone to behave resolutely.
As a metaphor for ‘firmness of character’, backbone dates from the mid 19th century.
1998 Spectator There is a widespread belief that if only Mrs Thatcher had still been in No. 10, she would have put backbone into Bush and got rid of Saddam .
See also: backbone, put, someone

to the backbone

in every respect; through and through.
See also: backbone


n. courage; integrity. (Colloquial.) If you had any backbone, you would be able to deal with this.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Loup are backboned by former Derry players Paul McFlynn and Johnny McBride.
Cole has been an essential part of Shrewsbury's consecutive Division 1 East title wins, as the 6-foot-2, 270-pound center has backboned a solid offensive line for coach Terry Walles.
However, Vincent's are gunning for a third title in four seasons and are backboned by county stars past and present, like Tomas Quinn and Diarmuid Connolly.
The Offaly champions head to Nowlan Park (2pm) chasing an eighth Leinster title today, but face a Ballyhale side backboned by Cats stars Henry Shefflin and James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick.
Last season, he backboned Team Canada to gold at the World Junior Championships and led Montreal's AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, to the Calder Cup title with a 2.
Her goalkeeping backboned Millbury's march to its first Central Mass.
Tyrone champions Trillick, backboned by two sets of brothers Mattie and Richard Donnelly plus Rory and Lee Brennan, also have proven talent in Niall Gormley and Daire Gallagher.
Hopedale held an 11-2 advantage on penalty corners in the first half, but the Spartan defense, backboned by Jodoin, kept the Raiders from converting any.
His men are given little hope of beating a Munster team backboned by their All-Ireland winning Cork contingent.
Although Trillick may be in bonus territory after winning a first county title since 1986, they are backboned by two sets of Tyrone panellists Mattie and Richie Donnelly, and Rory and Lee Brennan.