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Nothing in the 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

No one has ever or will ever achieve a challenging and meaningful goal without being persistent.

The good news is that the will and skill to keep going forward in the face of adversity is a learned trait. It’s not a quality we are born with or without. It’s also important to note that we’ve all been persistent in the past.

If you or someone you know wants to be more persistent in the future, take a few minutes today and do an exercise that will help you discover what it takes for you to persist more often.

The Persistence Exercise

Write down all the times you refused to quit before reaching your goal. Start with your earliest memories in your family, at school, playing a sport, asking someone on a date. Then reflect on your efforts to get a new job or promotion. Identify all the times you persisted when trying to reach important people who never called you back. Remember the occasions when you kept making the effort to influence a co-worker, client, family member or friend to do something that you felt was important after they told you NO several times. Write down all the situations where you had a goal, large or small, and you kept persisting in spite of obstacles or opposition.

Then ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Why did you choose not to give up in those situations?

  2. How did you and others benefit because you refused to quit?

  3. How can the lesson learned from your persistence in the past help you be more persistent in the future?

The insights you created from this exercise is your persistent foundation. If you commit to applying those ideas…one day at a time…you will be healthier, happier and much more successful.

By the way, do you know the origin of the phrase “Luck of the Irish?” While there are several opinions, I prefer this one. During America’s gold rush in the 1800’s, many Irish people headed west to find their “pot of gold.” The most famous Irishmen at the time were Jimmy Doyle, Jimmy Burns and Johnny Harnan, who made their fortunes at Cripple Creek, Colorado in the 1890’s.

Eventually, their hard work paid off and they accumulated 183 acres of mineral-bearing ground that ultimately yielded $65 million.

Their discovery was later called The Comstock Lode and it turned out to be America’s richest silver strike.

Be positive, be pleasant and be persistent and you just might get lucky.

Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin


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