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.” Calvin Coolidge
Many of us are idea people. We are great with coming up with grand schemes and getting started on them with enormous enthusiasm. Yet we often fail to see these projects through, becoming bored, pessimistic or defeated because of stumbles in the road or little failures along the way.
It’s critical to learn to get past these little stumbles so that we don’t give up. When we give up, how do we know that success wasn’t just around the corner? Have you ever wondered how many pursuits you were “this close” to accomplishing when you gave up?
The key to persistence lies in two traits. The first is commitment. Too often we start a project without a real commitment to see it through. When it gets hard, we want to quit because we never were all that committed to it anyway. Take a look back at the hard things you’ve accomplished in your life. Maybe you have a long, successful marriage. I’m sure there were hard times during that marriage that made you want to give up. The reason you didn’t was that you had a true commitment to your partner and the promises you made each other. Pursue projects with true commitment, and you’ll have the strength to be persistent.
The second key to persistence is celebration. We often give up because we only look at the things that have gone wrong during the process. The mistakes and failures take a toll on. These failures take less of a toll when we spend more time thinking about the successes. In each big endeavor, we have those stumbles in the road, but we also have achievements and learning experiences. The problem is that we spend more time mourning the failures than we do celebrating the successes. Over time, the project looks like a series of failures to us, so we lose the will to keep trying.
Success is about persistence. Persistence is about mindset. Make a genuine commitment to all you do, and don’t forget to celebrate how well you’re doing it.