If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying, “Here comes number seventy-one!”
Richard M. Devos
There is no such thing as cheap success. If we want to succeed, we have to pay the price. And the road to success is long with a lot of obstacles. No wonder most people stop at one point or another after running into the obstacles. Only a few people have the persistence to keep moving forward, and these are the few people who succeed.
Persistence is essential. In fact, persistence is one of the most important characteristics successful people share in common. There is no other way to succeed but by developing persistence in our life, and here I’d like to share seven ways to develop it. Here they are:
1. Learn the life of successful people
Understanding that successful people do need persistence to achieve success will inspire you to be persistent yourself. So find and read the life stories of successful people throughout the history. While most people recognize them only through their achievements, by reading their stories we will understand the persistence they need on the way to success.
2. Expect a hard way, not an easy one
One of the main reasons people giving up early is having wrong expectation. They expected the way to be easy, and they are surprised when they find the reality to be the opposite. Their enthusiasm quickly melts and they lose heart.
So start your journey with the right expectation. As I wrote above, there is no such thing as cheap success. Expect a hard way, not an easy one, and you will be mentally prepared when you encounter the reality.
3. Don’t underestimate the amount of time required
Just like you should not underestimate the difficulty of the journey you are about to take, you should not underestimate its length either. Of course, everyone wants to achieve instant success. But this, unfortunately, is not realistic. The journey to success is a marathon, not a sprint, so prepare yourself accordingly.
4. Have a big why
To keep your persistence, you need a strong source of motivation. How else can someone keep trying again and again without strong motivation? And such strong motivation comes from your purpose. You should know why you want your goal in the first place. And your why must be bigger than the obstacles. The bigger your why the better.
5. Know how to handle failure
Since failure is a certainty on the path to success, knowing how to handle it is critical. By knowing how to handle failure you will be able to keep your persistence. On the other hand, not being able to handle it will soon drain your mental energy. So arm yourself with the right tactics to overcome failure.
6. Find partners
Things will be much easier is you have partners with whom you can encourage each other. They can motivate you when you are in the low points of life, and you can do the same to them. Besides, your partners could give you valuable lessons from their experiences so that you don’t need to find them yourself the hard way.
7. Minimize your stress
To be able to keep your persistence for long time, you should minimize leaks on your mental energy. Stress is one such leak you should learn to manage. If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to stay on the track for long. Even if you do, you won’t be able to do your best since you’ve lost a lot of energy. So arm yourself with the tactics to minimize stress and preserve your energy.
Photo by mstorz