“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve
the problems of the human race.”
– John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. 30th President, USA
Creativity is not innate, a muse you’re born with or an ability that comes because you support the right social causes. It is instead most often the result of hard work and risk. Simple persistence quite often produces creative results. Giving up offers none. Persisting when the development of creative solutions is grindingly difficult brings a flavor to the victory that will never be tasted by those who settle. Here are a few more reasons to persist:
1. Persistence gets results. Few things in life worth achieving are gained without persistence. Nearly all successful people we look up to have a long, hard trail of failures and severe challenges behind them, through which they persisted. Had they given up along the way, they would have experienced failure just before their breakthrough occurred. The harder you work, the luckier you get.
2. Persistence sets you apart from everyone else. Anyone can quit. Quitting is the easy way out. Quitting is the coward’s way out. Quitting can become an addiction. Persisting puts you in a whole different class of the elite.
3. Persistence builds character. Giving up takes no effort. Giving up gives one a false sense of relief that ultimately feels more like defeat. Any growth of muscle or character requires resistance training. It takes courage and strong character to persist, and in persisting, your character becomes even stronger.
4. Persistence always offers some measure of success. Just by hanging in there, you’ve accomplished more than most. But in quitting there is no success. Abraham Lincoln, a man all too familiar with failure, said, “If you are resolutely determined to accomplish some thing, the thing is more than half done already. Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing.”
But when the bills are piling up and everyone is telling you to hang it up and get a “real job,” it’s hard to persist. How do you maintain persistence in the face of so much apparent failure and resistance?
Here are 5 Strategies for Boosting Persistence:
1. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer. This requires a realistic, but optimistic view of yourself, not to be confused with flippant arrogance. Now I don’t know what your spiritual world view is, but when I say “Believe in yourself” I am asserting the need to motivate first from this level. If you don’t believe that you are innately built for success and achievement of some sort, it will be impossible to maintain momentum. I freely admit that one of the hardest ongoing areas of my life is believing that the things God says about me are true. Imagine that! God has spoken and I continue argue internally. I’m working to overcome that.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the “If you believe it then its true for you” school of thought. I don’t buy it. Like all great lies it is founded in partial truth. There is real power in positive thoughts. Doubt is actually debilitating. However, believing stupid things is still believing stupid things. A kid with coke bottle glasses can’t simply “believe” he has 20/20 vision and become an Air Force Pilot.
Remember, we’re talking about perseverance not magic. Sylvester Stallone was rejected by more than 600 casting agents before developing his Rocky screenplay. Eventually, his first film took in $117 million (in 1976 dollars) and made him more than $5 million. If you have something worthwhile and valuable to give to others, keep believing in yourself and never quit.
2. Keep trying new things. Maybe you’re not sure yet what your product or service is, but you desire successful entrepreneurship desperately. Then keep trying new things. The Wright Brothers experienced thousands of failed experiments before getting it right. Discover your niche. Experiment. “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” – Thomas J. Watson, founder IBM.
3. Redefine failure. View minor failed experiments as learning experiences. Now you know one more way not to succeed. Instead, view quitting as failure. As long as you persist, you haven’t failed. Don’t miss the words “minor failed experiments.” Business success comes when you can make a happy customer. Business genius happens when you do that a lot. So find out how cheaply and quickly you can make a customer.
4. When you fall, keep getting up. If you have ever watched a baby learning to walk, they fall a thousand times before they can walk. You’re no infant, but your business may still be in its infancy. Expect to fall, trip, and stumble, but keep getting up. And soon you’ll find that your business is not only walking but running like a gazelle!
5. Don’t listen to naysayers. When Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield wrote the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, they were rejected by 140 publishers. Publishers told them the book wouldn’t sell. Those publishers were professionals. They’re supposed to know what they’re talking about, right? But when the two authors finally landed a contract with a publisher willing to take a risk, their books sold over 100 million copies! Don’t listen to naysayers. Instead, find and spend time with those who believe in you, support you, and encourage you.
Persistence is a key ingredient for success. So, keep at it. Don’t give up. Persist, because success is right around the corner.