“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people 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.” Calvin Coolidge
I have worked with many successful people; people who have achieved the kinds of lives they have dreamed about. I have also worked with many people who are not anywhere near where they want to be in life. Many times those who are not successful resent those who are and believe that somehow success was handed to those who have achieved much.
What I have found however is that actually the reverse is true. Those who have achieved much have worked much HARDER than those who are not successful.
You wouldn’t believe the stories of struggle that I hear from those who now appear to on “top of the heap.” Yes, they are successful, but no, it wasn’t handed to them! And I find that most of the unsuccessful people who come to me actually haven’t been tenacious at all. I find that with many of the people I speak to who complain about their lack of success simply haven’t persevered and been tenacious. When I ask them questions I usually get excuses. Yes, there are exceptions on both sides, but I find this to be almost universally true.
If you are one who finds yourself dreaming of a better life, or looking at someone who “has it made,” I would ask you to take a long, deep look inward and at your life to find whether or not you have actually been tenacious in pursuit of your dreams. How long have you gone for it? Many people who achieve much go for YEARS before they achieve what their hearts long for? How hard have you gone for it? Most people who achieve much have given up much. They have sacrificed much. They strive valiantly for what it is that resides deep in their dreams. They just plain ol’ work hard!
So what are the principles of tenacity? What do you need to know in order to take your turn at the tenacious? Here are some thoughts to start your fire and get you going!
- Sometimes you just have to outlast the others.
“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” William Feather
I have found that many people start on their dreams but most never finish. Then those who stop resent those who make it.
The truth is that most people who become successful have simply mastered the art of keeping on keeping on!
I myself can remember early on in my career when I would get discouraged and I literally said to myself, “One more week. Just give it one more week.” Quite frankly, this is what got me through a couple of years of my work early on. I hung on as others let go.
It is easy to get disheartened. Ask those who have achieved success if they ever got disheartened and you will find some of the most amazing stories you have ever heard. Give it a try: Go to the most successful person you know and ask them if they ever thought about quitting. Ask them how they kept on going. You will be amazed at what you hear.
- Sometimes you just have to hold on at the end.
“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Franklin Roosevelt
I wonder how many people have quit just as they would have begun their entrance into success? Sure there are many who quit at the first sign of hard work, but what about those who, after the tenth time of trial then give up, just as fate would have seen them go through one last hurdle and then into the promised land? How many people were on their last hurdle and decided not to jump? How many people had just one more mountain pass to go? Or just one more river to cross?
Of course we will never know, but certainly some of the people who quit are doing so on what would have been their last trial, right?
So what does this mean for you? For me it means I do not quit because I would hate to find out later that all I needed was just one last effort and I would have achieved my goal. What if it isn’t my last trial? That’s okay because as long as I keep going, eventually I will get to my last trial, I will overcome it, and I will enter the Winner’s Circle.
- Sometimes the most beautiful results come from dull things under pressure.
“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” Malcolm Forbes
If coal wasn’t an inanimate object it would certainly scream, “Stop! I want out!” But that coal, when facing incredible pressure, is turned into one of earth’s most precious possessions. Ugly, dirty old coal is transformed into beautiful diamonds.
Instead of looking at pressure and trials as the reason to quit, get tenacious and see them as the very thing that will make your life the beautiful thing that you desire it to be. See it as your opportunity to learn, to grow, and to be transformed. See these trials as the very things that will enable you to have the life that dream of!
Trials will surely come. Life will get hard. You will want to quit.
Then you will have a choice: Will you give up? Or will you take your turn at tenacious. The choice you make will determine much of the rest of your life.
My advice? Take your turn at tenacious. You will become stronger, and you will end up living the life you dream of!
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