We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of persistence. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:
1. A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment.
2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.
Persistence is a Matter of Habit
These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose of the principles of this philosophy is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit.
These are the steps by which one may control one’s economic destiny. They are the steps that lead to freedom and independence of thought. They are the four steps which guarantee favorable “breaks.” They are the steps that convert dreams into physical realities. They lead, also, to the mastery of fear, discouragement, indifference.
There is no substitute for persistence!
Itcannot be supplanted by any other quality!
Remember this, and it will hearten you,
in the beginning, when the going may
seem difficult and slow.
There is a magnificent reward for all who learn to take these four steps. It is the privilege of writing one’s own ticket, and of making Life yield whatever price is asked.
In the confrontation between the stream and the rock,
the stream always wins — not through strength
but by perseverance.
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Does Persistence Empower One with Supernatural Forces?
What mystical power gives to men of persistence the capacity to master difficulties?
Does the quality of persistence set up in one’s mind some form of spiritual, mental or chemical activity which gives one access to supernatural forces?
Does Infinite Intelligence throw itself on the side of the person who still fights on, after the battle has been lost, with the whole world on the opposing side?
These and many other similar questions have arisen in my mind as I have observed men like Henry Ford, who started at scratch, and built an Industrial Empire of huge proportions, with little else in the way of a beginning but persistence. Or, Thomas A. Edison, who, with less than three months of schooling, became the world’s leading inventor and converted persistence into the talking machine, the moving picture machine, and the incandescent light, to say nothing of half a hundred other useful inventions.
When you know what to think and do,
then you must use your will to compel yourself
to think and do the right things.
— Wallace D. Wattles
Persistence: The Source of Stupendous Achievements
I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Edison and Mr. Ford, year by year, over a long period of years, and therefore, the opportunity to study them at close range, so I speak from actual knowledge when I say that I found no quality save persistence, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.
As one makes an impartial study of the prophets, philosophers, “miracle” men, and religious leaders of the past, one is drawn to the inevitable conclusion that persistence, concentration of effort, and definiteness of purpose were the major sources of their achievements.
Developing the Power of Persistence
Consider, for example, the strange and fascinating story of Mohammed; analyze his life, compare him with men of achievement in this modern age of industry and finance, and observe how they have one outstanding trait in common, persistence!
If you are keenly interested in studying the strange power which gives potency to persistence, read a biography of Mohammed, especially the one by Essad Bey. It is one of the most astounding examples of the power of persistence known to civilization.
Persistence is a state of mind,
therefore it can be cultivated.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin,
a member of Penguin Group (USA).
Think and Grow Rich: The Master Mind Volume
by Napoleon Rich. (contains reprints of the original 1937 edition)
Click here for more info or to order this book on Amazon.
About the Author
Napoleon Hill was born in 1883 in Virginia and died in 1970 after a long and successful career as a lecturer, author, and consultant to business leaders. Think and Grow Rich is the all-time bestseller in its field, having sold 15 million copies worldwide, and sets the standard for today’s motivational thinking. Napoleon Hill established the Foundation as a nonprofit educational institution whose mission is to perpetuate his philosophy of leadership, self-motivation, and individual achievement. Visit www.naphill.org for more information.
History tells us that Thomas Edison had close to 10,000 failures, yet he never thought of himself as a failure. He relished each attempt as an opportunity to learn from his outcomes and apply that new learning going forward. Edison is the poster child for persistence.
Among all of the values we can possess, it seems persistence is the consistent ingredient in most people who succeed, no matter what they are succeeding at. We all seem to know or understand that our top athletes have persistence in huge quantities; so we get that. They have to keep their bodies strong, pushing the boundaries of endurance in order to break new records. Yet, you can see persistence everywhere you look, even for the work you get paid to do, so there must be something to it.
In the work place we often seem to forget that value. It’s easy to get discouraged when you continually strive to achieve something and it doesn’t work out. It gets further complicated when you add in the complexities of other personalities that require you to endure. Yet, if you observe those who are achieving what they set out to do and who are passionate about what they are doing, their persistence is there day and night. They are the realist who knows that you don’t always get what you want the first time and like a marathon runner, steel themselves for a long, hard road. That doesn’t make it sound too sexy, yet sexy is definitely being able to deliver results. There’s nothing better than checking something off your list and pointing to a growing stack of career accomplishments.
I personally think that the value of persistence has a companion of optimism. Not everything is going to work out well and we all know that. You’ve probably heard the saying that it’s not the results of things you do that forms your character and life, as much as it is how you react. When things are at their toughest, I think your persistence is kept fueled by basic optimism. The belief that if you try long enough, hard enough and make adjustments along the way, that sooner or later you will get to your goal. Your optimism is what tells you to keep trying.
If you are pondering what it would take to give your career a boost, you might look in the direction of your own persistence. You need to be clear about what you are striving to accomplish. What is the result you are seeking? If you need to gather resources or knowledge, then go get them. Once you have your goal, your resources and a plan, then go after it with enthusiasm and commitment. Stay focused each and every day until you get the results you defined. It’s also ok to occasionally get propped up by friends or family to keep the necessary attitude that comes with persistence.
Persistence is not about the easy road, even though some people make achieving success look easy. Persistence is about continuing to do something even when there is good reason to quit. Persistence is about the basic optimism of knowing your dream is the right thing to pursue.
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About The Author
Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is a certified life and career coach. Known as the Introvert Whisperer, she works with Ambitious Introverts who are looking to stay authentic and achieve career growth and advancement. With over 21 years in management, Dorothy has coached, trained and guided other professionals who have gone on to impressive and fulfilling careers. What she has helped others achieve, she can help you too! Her personal philosophy about careers is: “It’s not JUST a job; it’s half your life – so love your career.”