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If you Google (or Bing) the word persistence you will like find references to the following quote:

“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

It’s a pretty fine quote that really captures the essence of how powerful persistence can be.

To accomplish anything worthwhile in life you need to be in it for the long haul. The quote “Failure is not an option” is misleading because failure is always an option. In fact, failure is almost always a prerequisite to ultimate success. Anything you attempt to do that is difficult and challenging will often require repeated attempts until you ultimately succeed. If you stop at the first sign of failure you will never accomplish anything significant.

It is important to know that persistence doesn’t always win out. No amount of persistence is going to make a make a 4-foot tall man over 60 into an NBA basketball star. You have to obviously pick goals that are realistic and attainable even if extremely challenging. It is also important to know when to quit.

Seth Godin suggests that you know under what conditions you will decide to quit before starting out on any challenging endeavor. In his book The Dip he states that it is important to quit when you realize that you are getting nowhere but he also says that you never quit because it is too difficult to get to the next level. If something is difficult or challenging that is a good thing because this acts as a filter to weeds out all the quitters and lets those who make it through the dip appear to be exceptional.

Have you ever heard of someone who tried everything to lose weight but kept failing time and time again but then finally succeeded? This happens all the time but more often people just give up completely. There is an epidemic of obesity which really equates to being an epidemic of quitting. Losing weight is a simple formula, eat less calories than you burn. That’s it. Sure this is difficult to do every day for as long as it takes to get to your goal weight, but if you don’t quit you will get there. Even if you fail and gain back a few pounds, all you need to do is keep going and persist.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

May 7, 2011 at 6:19 am

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