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Motivation & Inspiration
The Power of Persistence: Doing Whatever It Takes
Posted on 06-21-2010 214 Views
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"The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard and give up at the first signs of opposition or misfortune. A few carry on despite all opposition until they attain their goal. Weak desires produce weak results."
Author: Think and Grow Rich
At some time or another, all of us will have our resolve tested to keep going or quit. The moment of reckoning comes when your persistence and commitment to the cause are met with equal or even greater opposition.
Persistence means to go stubbornly on or resolutely, in spite of difficulties.
Almost without exception, most high achievements are the result of persistence. If showing up and waiting for success is all it took, we would all be experiencing the sweet taste of victory. We know thatís not true.
The biographies of great individuals show a common theme: how those individuals overcame adversity to realize victory and success. Think about some outstanding stories and the men and women who lived them. Now remove the hardships from their stories. How do you feel about those individuals now? Not as impressed or perhaps not even interested?
As a society, the stronger the adversity a person has seen, the higher our acknowledgment and respect for that individual. We say Wow and get encouraged, motivated, and inspired by his or her tale of persistence.
It seems there is some correlation between the level of persistence, the price paid, and the achievement. For example, Nelson Mandela spent decades in a South African prison but kept his dream of freedom alive. Walt Disney went bankrupt more than once. The best-selling Chicken Soup books were thought to be a losing idea; they were rejected by publishers more than 26 times!
So where is your persistence being tested?
I grew up on a dairy farm and later operated my own herd. In this type of operation, persistence is commonplace. During a record-cold February morning, I arrived in the barn at my usual 5:30 am to find everything frozen solid. Until pipes were thawed, no milking could be done. If you know a bit about dairy cattle, milking twice a day is not an option; itís a necessity. I did not have time to wait till evening or the next day or until things thawed. The situation had to be dealt with then and now.
I had no hot water to thaw out the pipes. None of the vehicles would start, either.
What to do?
I walked to the neighborsí farm and carried two five-gallon buckets of hot water the few hundred yards back home. Several trips, complete exhaustion, and two hours later -- success. Now I could start my three hours of morning chores. It was never a question of if, only when.
Life is constantly presenting us with obstacles and challenges to test whether we are serious about our legitimate goals, desires, dreams, or objectives. Ask anyone who has realized a significant level of success in any field and you will almost always hear a story of persistence in spite of circumstances.
For those in sales, research bears this out. On average it takes 4 to 7 contacts to make a sale. Quit after three visits and you miss over 80% of the opportunities. Thatís why 20% of sales representatives earn 80% of the revenue -- they are the ones willing to make calls 4, 5, 6 and 7.
This applies to everything in our life: health, relationships, investments, business ventures, and so on.
We are all familiar with the quote: "Quitters never win and winners never quit." The question is . . . where do you feel you lie on the persistence continuum? Not-at-all persistent? Fully and 100% persistent?
Apply your answer to all areas of you life. The energy you need to be persistent can come from the strategies listed in the Action Steps that follow but, in essence, your level of persistence will be equal to or less than your level of desire to achieve your objective. If you have little desire to be successful and you are not successful -- whatever you define as success -- why be surprised?
Think about new-born children and their learning-to-walk stage. After the first few falls, do we say, "It looks like this walking thing is not working so maybe you should crawl for the rest of your life." We would never accept that attitude from children, but every day we accept it from ourselves or others. Failure such as falling down while learning to walk is part of the human condition, but we have the power to decide whether we stay down or get back up and try again.
Persistence is a choice. At every given moment, we can either give in to the challenges or figure out a way to overcome them.
I encourage each of you to embrace the quality and character of persistence and help others do the same.
Building Persistence Action Steps
1. Determine your level of persistence on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being 100% persistent) in the following areas of your life.
a. Health and Wellness
b. Investments and Wealth Management
c. Job/Career Achievement
d. Realizing Fulfilled Relationships
e. Business Opportunities
2. Based on your responses to question 1, what level of persistence do you have in each area of your life? What in your makeup and background has caused you to respond at those levels? Are you happy with your responses?
3. Persistence is fueled by being on purpose and having a burning desire to accomplish something. Is this true for each primary area of your life? If not, why not?
4. To be persistent, focus most on the outcome or final objective. This will encourage you to move forward and not be deterred by the current circumstances.
5. Seek encouragemen -- in person, on the phone, or from a book or tape -- from others who have demonstrated the character of persistence.
6. Seek the additional knowledge required to realize your goals or objectives.
7. Understand that being foolish and ignorant in the quest of a goal is different than being persistent.
8. To build up your persistence habit, start with the minor and move to the major.
9. Avoid shortcuts, ignore negative people, and do not fear criticism.
10. When you fail -- and you will, regroup, revisit, and revise your approach. Never, never quit when you are on purpose.
11. In the end you are responsible for your choices. After all, you will have to live with them for the rest of your life.
Until next time, keep "Living on Purpose."
By: Ken Keis
Ken Keis, MBA, CPC, is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. He is President and CEO of CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc., founded in 1979. Many professionals herald CRG as the Number One global resource center for Personal and Professional Development.
For information on CRG Resources, please visit crgleader.com
This article may be reprinted for free so long as the author's resource box is kept intact and all links remain live and clickable. The Article Source must also be included. All rights are reserved by the author.
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