It’s not possible to be the best you without perseverance. Not much good happens without persevering and hanging in there. There are two types of perseverance. Well, maybe more than two, but I’m only going to discuss two. One type of perseverance has to do with the number one, and the second has to do with the taking the next step.
The Perseverance of One
How many medical schools do you have to be accepted to become a doctor? How many companies have to hire you before you are employed? How many girls/guys have to agree to marry you before you become a husband/wife? How many more games does a team in Major League Baseball or the NBA have to win over its opponent to be crowned champions? The answer is simple. Just one.
This type of perseverance is the easiest of the two we are going to discuss. It goes back to the old phrase “getting up one more time than you’ve fallen down”. You just have to hang in there — long enough. That’s it – just long enough. Fill out one more application than rejections you receive, ask one more girl for a date than those who have turned you down, just score one more point and win one more game than you opponent, make one more sales call, etc.
In some cases, the perseverance of one doesn’t even take skill. This type of perseverance is nearly purely a numbers game. It just takes sheer determination. You can bumble and fumble around, but chances are you if you ask 100 girls out – one will be desperate enough to say “yes” no matter how poorly you look asking – so keep asking.
Next Step Perseverance
The more difficult perseverance is the next step perseverance. This perseverance requires you to take the next step in a process to obtain something. Each step in the process requires more skill and knowledge. This type of perseverance tests you over time and tests how badly you want something. This perseverance weeds out the contenders from the pretenders. This perseverance measures your passion for something.
If I knew how time-consuming this website would be, I might not have gone forward with the project if it were not for the fact that I really do enjoy the writing part and the potential rewards seemed well worth the effort. So I just learned each step that is required to make this website work. But, it would be extremely difficult to stick with it if the writing were a chore.
Can you think of anything you’ve done that now when you look back at it you would not have done it because of all the work and sacrifice that went into it? If something seems too much of a chore or “job” it is probably something not worth pursuing – at least for you.
Once you realize the scope of any endeavor, which you may not discover until you already take a few steps into the process, you find yourself asking questions. Am I good enough or talented enough to go through this process? Is this something I want badly enough to make the time commitment and sacrifices? Sometimes you conclude that it is not.
There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s best that realization occurs sooner rather than later. I know people who after a year or two of medical school decided medicine wasn’t for them for a variety of reasons. But, some only found out that medicine wasn’t for them until they completed residency training. And, some not until they were done with training and in practice.
Persevering is easier when you love what you do. Find what you love and then get busy going after it. And, hang in there long enough. Remember the tide always turns at its lowest point.
Quotes on Perseverance
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. Confucius
It alway seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela
Many of life’s failures are people who did not know realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas Edison
Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Marilyn Monroe
Nothing in the 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. Calvin Coolidge
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. Thomas Carlyle
A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. BF Skinner
Let me tell you the secret that has led to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. Louis Pasteur
A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. Jim Watkins
When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself. Isak Dinesen
I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature. John D. Rockefeller