One of the Secrets of Success
If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again. An old expression that’s stood the test of time because in many situations it’s true. The message of perseverance has swirled around me the last month.
I had the opportunity of hearing many diverse, inspiring and honest speakers at a Women-in-Business conference last week. There were so many powerful messages, one being the need to continue moving forward. Keep taking steps towards what you are trying to achieve, whether it’s a business project, your next job promotion or a fulfilling home life. The ability to do this continually, even in spite of obstacles and there will be obstacles, is that the journey is rooted in something you love. It needs to come from a place of doing what you love, what you’re passionate about, to energize or motivate you to continue acting towards your desired outcome.
Another example is the movie Impossible about the 2004 tsunami. The determination to live, to survive, on the chance of seeing your family again, to overcome the emotional and physical forces acting against you requires perseverance. It’s not willpower that has someone hang onto a tree as they are battered by the force of the water – it’s the desire to live. Sometimes when it is life or death it’s an easier act, because there really isn’t an alternative of not doing it. Having worked with someone who lost five family members that day in the 2004 tsunami, he persevered after that loss to continue on and be a happy, productive member of society.
In reading Steve Jobs biography there were numerous examples of persevering, the steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period of time despite difficulties to launch the various game-changing innovations from Apple. As he said “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” If you control half of the chance for success, you’re almost there.
The good news is perseverance is learned. You can develop it. Start by having a clear vision of where you want to go that pulls you forward (rather than having to push yourself to do something), know your passion. Combine that passion with choosing a positive, optimistic perspective in the face of adversity. It’s not going to be easy all the time, so when it’s not, choose an empowering mindset like hope or fun. And the final step of persevering is to be able to accomplish small tasks successfully no matter what. Doing small tasks consistently means you are being true to your word for your own sake. This results in you feeling good about yourself so you are able continue to accomplish another small task, and another small task and another small task in service of your purpose. Eventually you do enough small tasks you reach your long term goal.
What in your life or work would benefit from more perseverance?
Live Your Potential!