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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 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

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 characters, that range from hero Zebulon "Zeb" Crabtree to an Indian princess and her blind father who hope to win back a prized medicine bag to a morally backboned slave named Ho-John to a broad array of dubious poker players, are sharply chiseled with complex personalities, pasts and motivations.
This trip we found about a dozen new fish, one new bat species, about 10 frogs and this rat, a large backboned animal with fur and four legs which has never been seen before.
nervous system: a collection of cells and tissues (a group of cells working together) that regulates the actions and responses of backboned and many backbone-less animals.
The researchers identified a DNA region made up of 546 base pairs, or "letters" of code, which have barely changed during the evolution of backboned creatures.
As a curator of invertebrate paleontology, I had no involvement with backboned creatures and never foresaw my involvement in the dinosaur gallery.
Musical semblance was soon reaffirmed in the form of Cover Girl, backboned by a thumping trip-hop drum break and greased beautifully by Hudson's effortless vocal.
NEW boss Mickey Harte takes charge of Tyrone for his first competitive game today, and his side is backboned by Errigal Ciaran players.
Allen's advice, backboned by Team IRG, has propelled their success as they achieved four closings in September and are bringing six new listings to the marketplace in the next month.
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.
This collective product offering brings Axxon Next VMS users an innovative surveillance solution backboned by VioStor NVR's rock-solid hardware and reliable storage features.
Meanwhile, 6-foot-8 senior center Brendan Kilcoyne has backboned the offensive and defensive boards while averaging 10.
28 ( ANI ): Backboned animals, at least the ones with jaws, have four fins or limbs, one pair in front and one pair behind and these have been modified dramatically in the course of evolution, into a marvelous variety of fins, legs, arms, flippers, and wings.
Ceragon's FibeAir radios were chosen for our new network because of their technology and competitive cost, and the majority of our existing network will be backboned by Ceragon's FibeAir systems, providing state-of-the-art STM-1 connectivity as well as reduced costs for leased line connections," said Project Manager Karl-Heinrich Hellmann, KDZ Westfalen-Sud in Siegen.