Cultivating Persistence

“Persistence is to the character of  man as carbon is to steel” — Napoleon Hill

When I was first introduced to the world of personal development books and speakers, one of the very first lessons I learned was about the power of persistence.

Whatever path you have chosen and whatever aspirations you may have, there is inevitably going to be a lot of struggle and challenge along the way. For the most part, any significant goals in your life are likely going to take longer to accomplish than you anticipate.

The problem is that most of us don’t want to hear this when we first begin working on our dreams. There is a part of us that is holding on to the idea that we can bypass the struggle phase and skip right to the prize without truly earning it.

I was brutally guilty of this type of thinking when I first went into business for myself. I was so confident in my ideas and I was bursting with motivation to the point where I assumed that all setbacks and roadblocks would be easily cleared aside by my work ethic.

I nodded my head in agreement when I read various lessons and stories about persistence, but I didn’t truly take the message to heart. I didn’t believe that my goals were going to take very long to achieve.

Within a few months of quitting my job and being forced to face my financial demands with only my business to keep me going, it became painfully clear that I was staring at a mountain that I had essentially forced myself to climb.

As the early enthusiasm of being an entrepreneur faded and the hard reality of what I was facing set it, I then began my REAL education about the power of persistence.

It took nearly five years of virtually non stop work.
Sometimes working 7 days a week.
Sometimes 20 hours a day.
MANY times questioning my own sanity wondering if things would ever look up.

But eventually I did reach my major financial objectives and built a business that is not only financially successfully but is growing at a rapid pace and setup to do very well for years to come.

Along the way, I have learned a few key lessons about persistence I wanted to share here today:

  1. Decide In Advance You Will Persist No Matter What: Whatever mountain you are starting at, whatever major goal you are working on, come to grips sooner than later to the FACT that it is going to take time (probably a lot longer than you want or you anticipate). Be okay with this fact and simply decide in advance that no matter what happens, you choose NOW that you will persist until you reach your goal, no matter what.
  2. Know It Is Going To Suck At Times: Just because your goal may be a major passion or something with a very deep meaning to you, does not mean it is going to be all fun and games and you will feel joy 100% of the time. The truth is, you will spend a lot of time battling anger, frustration, hopelessness, fear and fatigue. Be ok with this and then…
  3. Use Contrast To Balance Your Perspective:  ALWAYS remember that no matter how hard your situation gets, there are still so many people in the world today who have it worse. Things may be tough and you may feel like quitting, but many other people have made it through far worse than you are going through right now. You may want to watch some Youtube videos or read books about people who’s life stories make your struggles pale in comparison.
  4. Keep Score Of Your Efforts: As you plug away and put in your time over the days, weeks, months and years… make sure you keep track of all of your major efforts and action items. You will be amazed at how much you are learning, how many new skills you are developing, and the kind of person you are becoming as you progress on your journey. When you take a tally of your hard work, it becomes a powerful source of self pride and respect.
  5. Repeat The Saying “I Believe In Myself”: It may sound simple but try it out. When you are wallowing in self doubt or trying to recover from a failed project or bad decision, simply repeat the words “I believe in myself” over and over again. This simple phrase has the ability to shift your energy in a matter of seconds. You are affirming a truth about your own personal power. The more YOU believe in YOURSELF, the better the chances are you will persist. The more you persist, the closer you get to your goal

These lessons may all sound simple and that’s fine. Take advantage of their simplicity and do yourself a favor and implement them.

Make persistence a part of who you are. Once you do, there is nothing that can stop you!

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