Persistence and Determination

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

I have found those that are most successful in life have a common trait: they persist and never give up. Those that persist have a unique hunger and desire. Their hunger will not be fulfilled until they have what they desire, and this is done through persistence.

Their dream and passion is what fuels their persistence. When you have a strong passion in an area it causes you to persist through situations that others would have given up on. If you know your passion then I believe nothing can stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. People of passion can’t be stopped.

When you have a real dream there will be opposition, but those that succeed do not allow the opposition to stop them from going after the dream. You will make mistakes and have setbacks but with persistence you can move past them.

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs

There have been times in my life where I have been hurt and let down, and honestly it has made me want to quit. What has caused me to persist through the pain is having the dream always in front of me. [tweet this].

Quitting is easy when you are not properly focused and aligned, but when you have a big dream nothing will stop you from persisting. The key to pushing through and persisting is understanding the feeling of what it will be like when you finally get there.

I’ve experienced rejection my whole life but it has never stopped me from persisting. I was cut from my football team my freshman year, but I worked my tail off in the off-season to make the team the next year. I was told that no one from a southern state could move to NYC and make an impact. I still remember the first person who I made a positive impact on after moving here, they were my confirmation. One thing I have learned is the key to getting what you want in life is not more money, talent, or looks.  The key is persisting.

There is only one other person that I have met who has as much persistence as I do. My 4 year old son. He will wear you down until he gets what he wants. I love his persistence and tenacity.

Below is a typical conversation between my wife Jessica and my son Myles:

Myles: Mommy is it snack time yet?
Jessica: Not yet it will be in a little while.
Myles: Can you get it ready because I think it’s almost snack time?
Jessica: I will make you a snack soon don’t worry.
Myles: But mommy my tummy says it’s hungry. Can I have snack now?
Jessica: It’s not time yet.
Myles: Mommy I think it’s snack time. Can we go to the pool sometime. Mommy you are so nice…I’m hungry.

I decided to cut the conversation short because this typically goes on for a little while longer. Rudyard Kipling said “If you don’t get what you want, it is a sign that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.”

If you have a dream or just want a snack don’t give up on it. Press on. Persist!

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  • Rebecca Fraser-Thill

    You’ve got that right about preschoolers and persistence! There is a LOT to be learned from them! (They’re also amazing at negotiating WHILE persisting; I swear I’ve learned how to whittle down my next car purchase from interacting with my two-year-old.)

    I completely agree with you that persistence lies at the heart of success. I’ve heard many published writers say that when they were in MFA programs, they weren’t the best or the most talented writers, just the most persistent. Their friends who had more talent but gave up because of rejection are now off doing some other job, while these “less-talented” tenacious individuals are publishing books and living their dreams. I console myself with this thought when every rejection comes my way.

    • Luke Roland

      Hey Rebecca, thanks for your thoughts and insights on writing and rejection…encouraging to hear!

      I think my son could be a great salesman or diplomat. I’m thinking about taking him with me the next time I make a big purchase!

  • Charles Hutchinson

    I’ve heard that success has just two steps:
    1. Get started
    2. Never stop

    Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed reading it.

    • Luke Roland

      That’s great Charles! As always thank you for reading and adding valuable insights.

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