The word I have chosen for Week 1 is Persistence.
First known use of the word persistence was in 1546. The meaning of word persistence has been stated as follows:
- The quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people
- The state of occurring or existing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time
- firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition
One of the best examples of Persistence is given in “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Hill states Persistence is The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith.
Hill also states “Will-power mixed with Persistence backed by the Desire makes a very powerful tool to insure the attainment of the objectives”.
Early in my life I started understanding the word persistence. I knew even if one has gifts, unless they are persistent about their goals and objectives they are not able to attain and achieve success.
Coming to United States with only $20 in my pocket in late 1980’s and a mind filled with ideas to succeed and make a wonderful life I found early on that just knowledge is not enough. Even after I received my MBA it took me years to get to where I am. I struggled for many years but never lost sight of my goals. I worked my way through for 18 years in an organization and after 8 long years became the head of finance department. Many times the thought of quitting and taking a less challenging role invaded my head, but I persistently worked my way through.
During this time I had set my eyes set on the goal of having my own business and for that I learned NLP, Hypnotherapy, Computer classes, everything outside the scope of my job.
I know a majority of people are ready to give up at the first sign of misfortune. Sometimes the goal you are trying to achieve is around the next corner. But if you give up, it is as if it did not matter at all. If your desire is strong then you can persist and move ahead.
I have opened and failed at many businesses. Many a times the thought was to never start a business again. But when I look back from every one of the so called failures I came out ahead. I learned such great lessons that took me years ahead with my career and my business. As Dr. John Maxwell my guru states if you fail … fail forward. I turned my mistakes into stepping stones for success.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You do not want to come to the end of your life and looking back you have regrets of not trying something which you wanted to do. Don’t die with the music inside you. If you have a goal or dream be persistent and do all you can to achieve it. Believe me God’s delays are not God’s denials.
Select your conversations very carefully, with whom you are speaking or telling them about your grand plans. Many people do not understand and try to bring you down. Keep your focus and forge ahead. Most important thing is to evaluate your experience and keep on adjusting as you go along. Do not be rigid as life is fluid. Change is imminent and we need to embrace it.
Later on in my life I totally understood that there is no substitute for persistence. I took on a non-profit organization that was doing wonderful work but was not managing its finances well. Well understanding and creating the internal controls and stabilizing the organization became my goal and focus. It did not happen overnight. It took me years. One thing I found was that no CFO has stayed in that organization for more than six to eight months. To be honest, when I saw the accounting books I felt the same, but my persistence paid off. Now that organization is very stable, I had eight years of clean audits including federal audits and the organization is helping over two thousand people on a daily basis. The point I am trying to make is that persistence is the key with laser like focus.
Now persistence came in handy again where I went ahead and took the Certification with “The John Maxell Team” as a Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Speaker. Now this really took effort and persistence and a burning desire kept me moving forward. With a full time job as a CFO with responsibility of millions of dollars from Federal Government, State Government etc. it took sustained effort on evenings and weekends and numerous sacrifices to attain my objective. I had finally found my passion, something I am willing to do for the rest of my life i.e. Leadership Training & Coaching even if I get paid or not. This passion and persistence kept me going.
See life will provide you the basics, food, shelter and clothing with little work. But if you desire to become successful and go after big stakes you will need to be persistent.
As persistence is a habit that is why there are so few successful people. It took Thomas Edison around 10,000 so called failures before he refined the light bulb. If you take a look at most of the successful people you will find that PERSISTENCE has been a major factor in their success.
So take a look at your goals that you have set for this year. As we all know most of the people who have set goals would be out of the running within the first month or so. But if you want to achieve your goals, be the person you need to be – be persistent.
Some of the major factors or symptoms of lack of persistence are:
- Not being clear in what you want.
- Weak desire
- Lack of good planning
- Fear of Criticism
- Feeling of Insignificance
- Lack in giving 100%
How do you develop persistence – These are four steps I found to be very valuable and took them from “Think and grow Rich”.
- A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment
- A definite plan, expressed in continuous action
- A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences
- A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose
Don’t Quit. Be persistent in what you want to accomplish and soon enough you will have what you desire.
Here are a few good quote on Persistence
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
“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.”
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
“They key of persistence opens all door closed by resistence ”
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”