What has set me on this topic is the success found by a friend after two years of grueling attempts. He achieved a career breakthrough for himself when all appeared lost. As I harbor similar aspirations, I found within him only, the quality of persistent actions which made him succeed.
Persistence is the sibling of focus and one of the pillars for success. We may not have talent, we may not have an education, we definitely need not be born with a silver spoon but if we do not have persistence towards our goals we then don't have anything. Persistence is the determining factor between a humdrum existence and living a life of goals fulfilled.
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
Perhaps, I need not write any more. The said quote says it all.
I am not privy to anyone else's life but only my own. My story has been of many failed attempts, but also of bullheadedness. As I look back at my life, I realize my little triumphs had more to do with my singular 'stick to it' than anything else. I was and still am not talented by any stretch of the imagination. For every inch of progress, I have had to work steadily. And progress has come about whenever I have trusted myself and time. That's why I believe along with persistence, patience is an oft understated virtue.
I was absolutely inept at Mathematics during my school years. Euclid and Pythagoras weren't exactly my pals as I fumbled from one exam to the other. But I realized I needed to work on it, and I assiduously did. My grades remarkably went up along with my expenditure on the midnight oil. That is the first case of conscious doggedness I can recall.
I also realize that whatever (and that has been quite a handful) failure's I have had has been for the lack of persistence than anything else. I gave up too soon. And today I have remnants of regret.
Therefore, today I have decided on some 'Laws for Persistent Actions' for myself. My endeavor will be to follow these to the best and to the limit of my abilities.
1. No regrets. I will follow my dreams to the fullest. With all my energy I will give it my complete will and effort. So that even if the desired result does not come about, I will have no regrets. I know I tried.
2. I will live activate my dreams through little actions. Yard by yard, push by little push. I need not take massive action each day. But a little measurable step forward will bring me that much more nearer to my goal.
3. I will live in the moment. Not in the past and not too much into the future. The full realization of the present will make the future come about on its own. Let me effuse all my energies on the present so that I don't rue the time lost when the clock ticks over.
4. I will keep my goals always in sight. I have written down goals. I carry a copy with me in my wallet. I am making a daily habit of at least going through it once. The other places I have kept it, is as a wallpaper on my monitor. It’s always in my face and I hope in my subconscious too.
5. I realize that obstacles will come about. I need to work around them. Goals are what lie behind all the stumbling blocks. If I cannot vault over them then I will walk around them. It might take longer but I will get around the block.
6. I will focus on one or two goals only. Focus is concentration on one single point. It’s much easier to be persistent when we have clarity of a single goal. Too many goals dissipate our energies and loss of energy is always followed by loss of persistence.
7. I will trust myself. When others can do it, so can I. I try out this mantra every day. I know all the power to achieve my goals lies within me. I only have to harness it.
8. I will take a break. I have to fill myself up with energy. After every slight success it’s important to taste a reward. Just to chill out for a while and then get back on the job rejuvenated.
9. I will be flexible. Constant action sometimes demands inconstant methods. If a way is not working too well, I will try to find out some other way to do it. Their always is more than one way to bell the cat.
10. I will be patient. What defeats persistence is time. Time is our greatest friend as well as our greatest enemy. Persistent action by its very extension means overcoming an obstacle over time. So I have to make time my ally and trust that with patience I will complete my goal. If I can progress a little each day, I will have utilized time.
A small footnote - With all the distractions around me, it has taken me exactly 6 days to finish this post. But I have done it. A small victory achieved. I guess that’s persistence …and now I am off for a nap. :-)