Persistence – The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith

From the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

Currently I am reading the Book “Think & Grow Rich” and am going in an in-depth study of this book. This Chapter On Persistence is wonderful.

This is as read and understood by me.


Persistence is an essential factor in the procedure of turning desire into its monetary equivalent. The basis of Persistence is the Power of Will.

Will-power mixed with Persistence backed by the Desire makes a very powerful tool to insure the attainment of the objectives.


Majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard, and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. Very few carry on despite all opposition, until they attain their goal. That is why there are few Fords, Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Edisons.

The quality of persistence is to the character of man what carbon is to steel.

Lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure. Experience with thousands of people has proven that lack of persistence is a weakness common to the majority. It is a weakness which may be overcome by effort. The ease with which lack of persistence many be conquered will depend entirely upon the Intensity of One’s desire.

The starting point of all achievement is Desire. Weak desire brings weak results.

Fortunes gravitate to men whose minds have been prepared to attract them. If you find you are weak in Persistence, surround yourself with a Master Mind group, and through the cooperative efforts of the members of this group, you can develop persistence.

Your subconscious mind works continuously, while you are awake, and while you are asleep. Occasional effort to apply the rules will be of no value to you. To get results, you must apply all the rules until their application becomes a fixed habit with you. In no other way can you develop the necessary “money consciousness.”

Poverty is attracted to the one whose mind is favorable to it, as money is attracted to him whose mind has been deliberately prepared to attract it, and through the same laws. Poverty consciousness will voluntarily seize the mind which is not occupied with the money consciousness. A poverty consciousness develops without conscious application of habits favorable to it. The money consciousness must be created to order, unless one is born with such a consciousness.

Without Persistence, you will be defeated, even before you start. With Persistence you will win. Be persistent no matter how slowly you may, at first, have to move. With Persistence will come success.

If you select your “Master Mind” group with care, you will have in it, at least one person who will aid you in the development of Persistence. Some men who have accumulated great fortunes, did so because of necessity. They developed the habit of persistence, because they were so closely driven by circumstances, that they had to become persistent.

There is no Substitute for Persistence. It cannot be supplanted by any other quality. In the beginning when the going may seem difficult and slow those who have cultivated the habit of persistence seem to enjoy insurance against failure. No matter how many times they are defeated, they finally arrive up toward the top of the ladder.

Sometimes it appears that there is a hidden Guide whose duty is to test men through all sorts of discouraging experiences. The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the Persistence test. Those who can’t take it, simply do not make the grade.

Those who can “take it” are bountifully rewarded for their persistence. They receive, as their compensation, whatever goal they are pursuing. That is not all, they will receive something infinitely more important than material compensation – the knowledge that “Every Failure brings with it the seed of an Equivalent Advantage.”

One thing we all know, if one does not possess Persistence, one does not achieve noteworthy success in any calling.

Wherever men and women accumulate great riches, you may be sure they first acquired Persistence. Life will give any beggar a cup of coffee and a sandwich, but it demands persistence of those who go after the big stakes.

Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes, among them these:

  1. Definiteness of Purpose
  2. Desire
  3. Self-reliance
  4. Definiteness of Plans
  5. Accurate Knowledge
  6. Co-operation
  7. Will-Power
  8. Habit

Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage.

Take Inventory of yourself, and determine in what particular, if any, you are lacking in this essential quality.

Symptoms of Lack of Persistence

  1. Failure to recognize and to clearly define exactly what one wants
  2. Procrastination with or without cause
  3. Lack of interest in acquiring specialized knowledge
  4. Indecision
  5. The habit of relying upon alibis instead of creating definite plans for the solution of problems.
  6. Self-Satisfaction
  7. Indifference
  8. The habit of blaming others
  9. Weakness of desire
  10. Willingness, even eagerness, to quit at the first sign of defeat
  11. Lack of organized plans, placed in writing where they may be analyzed
  12. The habit of neglecting to move on ideas, or to grasp opportunity when it presents itself
  13. Wishing instead of willing
  14. The habit of compromising with poverty instead of aiming at riches
  15. Searching for all the short-cuts to riches
  16. Fear of Criticism – Failure to create plans and to put them into action, because of what other people will think, do, or say.

Most ideas are Still-Born, and need the breath of Life injected into them through definite plans of immediate action. The time to nurse an idea is at the time of its birth.

Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant Persistence.

How to develop Persistence

  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
  4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.

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