To emphasise that persistence is the key, you’ve probably heard the famous quote from Jack Hyles, the controversial leading figure in the Independent Baptist movement. He said, “Success is on the same road as failure, success is just a little further down the road,”
It’s a very powerful statement because it points out there’s a link between success and failure. They are both outcomes, but if you can manage to get past failure, you’re eventually bound to end up reaching success.
See them as two small towns just a few miles apart. Your journey is to Success, but to get there you must pass through Failure. Now, Failure is a town which offers many distractions, bars, casinos etc. It’s a great place to stay and offers many opportunities, but not the one’s you’re looking for. Those are in the next town, but it’s not so easy to reach. What do you do, stay and have fun, but forego your dreams? Or, do you put down the distractions and work night and day to get to the next town, where you’d originally set out to reach?
Failing isn’t Always Bad
In the scenario of the two towns above, what would you do? Most people probably answer that their choice would be to press on to Success, choosing to leave Failure, but in reality, would they? Take a look at some of the things you’ve done or attempted to do in your life, how many of them have ended with you not quite reaching the intended goal?
We all have things we try and fail at, but that’s not a problem. In fact, it’s a good thing, if we can learn lessons from it. It can also help us to discover that it was something we didn’t want to do, even though we previously thought we did. Yes, failure can be something which is very good for us, so try not to see it as something that’s always negative.
It can become negative when you’re trying to reach a goal but aren’t seeing any success, so you give up. That sort of failure can be a relief, but it often makes us feel that we’re a failure as a person, rather than having just failed the task. It’s important to be aware of the difference between the two. Just because you fail at something, it doesn’t make you a failure.
Persistence is the Key to Success
It’s true that persistence is the key to success, but what causes us to be persistent? There are two things which lead to it – passion and faith. Without passion, it’s difficult to be persistent. Passion drives our will and ambition. It makes us crave success, it’s an emotion that is so strong, there’s no alternative. Passion MUST be followed!
Faith is also important, because without it success is near impossible. If you don’t believe you can achieve it, how will you ever reach it? The good news is that if you have a real passion to achieve something, you’ll already have faith that you can do it, no matter how hard it is.
It’s been said that ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you drive in. Persistence rejects knock backs and failures, it moves forward, no matter what. A little patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success!
No Room for Failure
Do you know why persistence is often more important than ability? It doesn’t matter how talented you are, without persistence, when you hit setbacks, you’re likely to fail. Constant failures will eat away at your confidence and increase self-doubt. It’s at these times we must play the persistency card. Look beyond failures, for they are only a part of the journey and persistence is what makes you get back up on your horse and keep moving forward.
There are many well-known examples of being persistent at work with my favorite probably being that of KFC founder, Colonel Sanders. He decided to try and sell his chicken recipe when he reached 65 years old. Traveling the US, he knocked on many doors, only to be rejected over and over.
The Colonel slept in his car, but he knew the importance of being persistent. He was told “No” over 1000 times before he got a “Yes”. He sold his interest in the company in 1964 for $2 million. In 1971 the company was sold again for $285 million and again in 1986 for around $840 million. Colonel Harland Sanders knew persistence is the key, he wasn’t going to let a lot of pesky “No’s” get in his way!
How to Develop Persistence and Determination
Some might say that persistence is a form of stubbornness or even pig headiness. It’s better to think of it as a skill that helps you reach a goal. There are four parts – passion, desire, faith and a goal. It has to be said, a little bit of stubbornness can come in handy too!
Recognise how important self-discipline is, it will help you develop persistence when things start to get tough. If you hit an obstacle, look at it as something to overcome, not something that’s stopping you. What can you do differently or better next time to avoid it? Is there a lesson to be learned, or does it offer you a previously unseen opportunity?
It’s crucial to focus on the end result, which you can reinforce by learning how to use affirmations. If you can break down the main goal into a set of smaller ones, it makes progress easier because it’s measurable. Make sure you stop any procrastinating otherwise you’ll start to erode your passion and confidence. Persistence is the key, but it’s never easy, so aim to make it a habit and reward yourself when you make small wins. Take a listen to what business and life strategist, Gary Coxe has to say about it:
Persistence is Power
The Cambridge Dictionary defines “persistent” as, continuing to exist past the usual time, or continuing to do something in a determined way even when facing difficulties or opposition. The power of persistence is its continuance and that’s what you should tap into. By practising it, you empower yourself to overcome setbacks and keep going, even if you have to adjust along the way.
Energy and persistence conquer all things, when you know what your goal is, all you need to do, is to take the first step. The second step might be easy, but the third or fourth might not be. If you’re prepared for trials and tribulations, they’re easier to cope with when they appear. Don’t expect them because that’s inviting them in and you don’t want to do that.
It’s important to stay focused on where you’re going but be prepared to review your progress and make necessary adjustments along the way. Yes, the road will twist and turn a little, but that’s a benefit of gaining experience. Remember, our thoughts become things, it was Earl Nightingale who said in his book, The Strangest Secret, “We become what we think about” and your persistence is the key to that.