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Winning Attitude 20: Persistence

 “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

Persistence is defined as 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 application of persistence to any task, interaction or goal is often what distinguishes between those who are successful and those who fail in any endeavor. Indeed, a lack of persistence or “giving up too soon” is one of the most common reasons for failure in any endeavor.

Just as fear is a prerequisite for courage, challenge is a prerequisite for perseverance. Simply measuring how long someone sticks with a task does not adequately capture the essence of perseverance because continuing to perform something that is fun or easy does not involve the overcoming of obstacles or disappointment. Persistence is the iron quality of character. Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel. It is the absolutely indispensable quality that goes hand in hand with all great success in life.

When you are overwhelmed with a problem or difficulty, you do not have enough time to develop the necessary persistence to deal with the setback or disappointment. But if you plan in advance for the inevitable ups and downs of life, when they come, you will be psychologically ready. You will be prepared.

The courage to persist in the face of adversity and disappointment is the one quality that, more than anything, will guarantee your success. Your greatest personal asset can be your willingness to persevere longer than anyone else. In fact, your persistence is a true measure of your belief in yourself and your ability to succeed.

The one inevitability in your life is recurring crisis. If you are living a busy life, you will have a crisis every so often. The only factor you can control is how you respond to difficulties and setbacks. And the good news is that every time you respond in a positive and constructive manner, you become stronger and better and even more capable of dealing with the next problem or crisis that comes along. Eventually, you will reach a point in life where you become absolutely unstoppable. You will become the kind of person who never quits, no matter what the difficulty. No matter what obstacle is put in your path, you will find a way to go over it, under it, around it, or through it.

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