It’s how you rise from a fall that truly defines you as a man.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan knows a lot about persistence. Discussing his stellar career he once noted that he had missed more than 9,000 shots and had lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions when he had been entrusted with the game winning shot he had flunked.
Said Jordan, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
He succeeded because he persisted. He persevered. He wasn’t a quitter. No matter how many times he was fouled (and he was one of the most fouled players in the history of the game) he got up and kept going.
We can all learn from that. Persistence pays.
One classic example you’ve almost certainly heard before is that of Thomas Edison who (and I’m paraphrasing) said that when developing the electric light bulb he hadn’t failed—he’d just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.
Edison was a veritable quote machine on the subject of persistence.
He also said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” And, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Persistence. Perspiration. Dogged determination.
These are attributes that go a long way in the business world. Most entrepreneurs in their journey to ultimate success occasionally stumble and sometimes take serious falls. But, like Jordan and Edison, they keep on going because they know that they have to endure failure and rejection if they want to become the best in their respective fields of endeavor. If they want to come out on top.
Since the earliest days of my career when I started my first successful internet business at the age of 16 I have encountered my share of obstacles large and small. I overcame them all and continue to do so because God has instilled the power of persistence in me. He gave me character, confidence and conviction so that I never give up.
Often the only clear difference between winners and losers is persistence. Winners never ever give up. Losers fold their cards when adversity enters their lives.
Believe in yourself and be prepared to hustle. According to research some 80 percent of all sales, for instance, take place between the fifth and twelfth contact. Just think about that. How many people are willing to ask for the sale six, seven, eight times or more? Most give up by that stage.
You have to remember—whether you’re trying to make a sale or achieve anything else in life’s great journey—that every time someone says “no” it is simply one step closer to someone saying “yes.”
Can you develop the power of persistence? Of course. It’s one of those God-given abilities that lie inside all of us. You have a brain to use. You have a mouth to open. You just have to take a leap of faith. You just have to put them into action. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, it is not going to get you anywhere in life without persistence.
Being persistent also means developing a thick skin. Being able to handle it when things don’t go your way. Being able to “stick with it” and move on with your journey with the conviction that when one dream ends a brilliant new dream is just beginning. It’s the magic of the cosmos at work.
Being persistent means overcoming any fears that might be holding you back. Fear of failure and fear of making mistakes as well as fear of rejection. Make the bold decision to doggedly pursue your dreams. It is the only way you will reach your final destination.
Being persistent means being willing to do more and do it more often than the average person would. You make those extra contacts. You go to one more meeting. You make that one last sales call before finishing for the day.
Being persistent means being relentless. Conduct more research than your peers. Push yourself to learn something new. Take a course that will progress your career. Successful people persist in going the extra mile. They never stop dreaming about the next endeavor that will take them to the stars. I know that with all my heart and soul because that’s the way I am. My journey continues in ways I would never have imagined but each step will just ultimately take me higher so long as I have the stamina to compete with life.
So my advice is this: Never surrender. Never give up. The power of persistence will get you the ultimate prize while others fall by the wayside.
As a wise person once said, “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are more doomed if you never try at all.”