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The Power of Persistence

The Power of Persistence

I tend
to write articles on concepts I want to understand better myself, so when the
quality of
persistencecame to mind, I saw it as an opportunity to
enhance my insights on the subject.



I begin with the ubiquitous quote by Calvin
Coolidge which aptly sums up the quality of persistence:


"Nothing in the 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
aloneare omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve
the problems of the human race.”


The
conventional definition of persistence is: "Refusing to give up or let go;
persevering obstinately; firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in
spite of difficulty or opposition." Is it
any wonder then, that persistence is the fundamental difference between a
successful outcome and a failed outcome? In that case, it behooves us to
develop the vital quality of persistence.



Tips on How to Develop Persistence


Decide what you want to
accomplish and set goals
. We all know how
importantsetting goalsis for achieving success in any endeavor, so
take some time to figure out what it is you want. Do you want to lose ten
pounds, graduate from college, run a marathon or be a business success? In a
study done in New York several years ago researchers surprisingly found that
people who set clear, concise goals succeeded in achieving them 95% of the
time! Interestingly, the one caveat or stipulation was that they only achieved
their goals if they refused to quit and continued to bounce back from
difficulties along the way.


Indeed, no
significant feat has ever been accomplished without the trials and tribulations
that go along with it.



Prepare for Obstacles and Setbacks. Know and
accept that there will be obstacles and setbacks; then prepare for them.
Nothing important was ever accomplished withoutadversity,setbacks
and difficulties to contend with along the way. Henry Ford went bankrupt three
times before he managed to design his first automobile. As we all know and are grateful
for, he subsequently succeeded to become one of the richest men in the world.
He said;


"Failure is merely an opportunity to more
intelligently begin again.”


Thomas
Edison is said to have tried 10,000 times to create the light bulb before he
succeeded. His attitude was;


"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000
ways that don't work."


Persistence
is definitely the difference between a successful outcome and a failed one due
to giving up.


One of the
ways you can prepare for setbacks and obstacles is to anticipate potential
problems and have a contingency plan. For example, if you're trying to lose
weight, you must know that there will be occasions when it's not possible to
stick to your weight loss regimen. In such cases, you will need to prepare alternative
meals ahead of time or be mentally prepared to deviate from your regimen.
Unfortunately, instead of allowing for and being prepared in such situations,
many people give up entirely declaring it impossible to stick any diet. In
doing so, they often sabotage all healthy eating and give up in despair.


Another
example would be endeavoring to become a marathon runner and you fail on your
first attempt at finishing a marathon. Should you give up and never try again?
No, not at all! You would have to figure out where you may have miscalculated
your fitness level, the type of food you ate and your training patterns. After
doing some research to find out how to improve, you would then give it another whirl!


Also keep
in mind that when we are overwhelmed with a problem or difficulty, we don't
have time then to develop the persistence necessary to deal with the particular
obstacle or set back. However, if we plan in advance for life's inevitable ups
and downs, we will be psychologically ready when they come upon us.



Take the first step. You cannot persevere;
much less succeed, if you never try to accomplish something. So many of us
procrastinate,fear or failure are too frozen in our tracks to take the
first step towards achievement. You will not fail if you don’t try something,
however, you will never succeed either.


As the
popular saying goes, "The only real failure in life is the failure to
try."

Review, re-evaluate and revise. If
things do not work out the way you hoped, then review the steps you took and
the process you followed. Re-evaluate by examining what went wrong and where.
What didn't work? What could you have done better? Did you have all the
necessary skills and tools? Your findings will be most illuminating, and in
turn, allow you to set up a better, more comprehensive approach.


You will
revise and improve the current strategy.

Support and encouragement. Stay away
from naysayers; instead seek advice from those experienced in your field of
endeavor and those who want you to succeed. They can assist you by making
suggestions and recommendations based on their experience and expertise.


You will still have to
do the hard work, but there is nothing more encouraging than having positive
reinforcement.

Maintain
focus.
One of the
obstacles to attaining success is losingmotivation
and focus. A good way to
maintain focus is tovisualizeyourself accomplishing your goal no
matter what it takes. Vividly see yourself accomplishing your goal – keep your
eye on the prize. Likewise, avoid getting caught up in negative or unproductive
thinking such as, "This will never work." "I can't do
this." Instead, keep inspiring slogans handy, pictures of those who have
persevered in life, and whatever else will motivate and boost your drive.

Enjoy!The greatest
feelings of accomplishment derive from knowing you've overcome obstacles and
conquered adversities to achieve your goals. Your ultimate success will be
exponentially more satisfying and fulfilling when you know what it took to get
there.


As you
can see from the wonderful examples above, obstacles and adversity need not
stop you from accomplishing great things. If anything, courageous persistence
is the one quality more than any other that can guarantee success.

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