Have you ever wanted something so bad that you worked night and day in a Herculean effort to obtain it? No? Then you do not understand the concept of persistence and determination. You probably also feel you should be entitled to something simply because you are who you are or were present when something happened, regardless if you put forth any effort or not, a kind of winning the Lottery phenomenon. If so, I consider such an attitude as tragic as you will never value anything nor likely experience success of any kind.
In the course of my lifetime I have met with a variety of people who would like to see me just go away, be it in business, the many nonprofit organizations I have been involved in, or the various Internet discussion groups I participate in. It bugs them that I do not. Because of my dogged determination I hang in there and outlast them. This tends to drive them crazy and I must confess I get a certain amount of satisfaction from being able to outlast them and see something through to fruition. Some would call this bullheadedness or stubbornness, but this is when you go through with something even when you know you are wrong. If I am wrong, I will generally back down as I am not a proponent of cutting off your nose to spite your face. If I’m right though, I’ll hang in there through thick and thin until I see something through to completion. I will remain focused and on target.
When you talk about determination and persistence, two people come to my mind who earned notoriety through sheer will, Pete Rose and Bruce Lee. Regardless of how you feel about Rose as a person, I was in awe of him on the baseball diamond. His athleticism did not come as naturally to him as it did for others. Consequently, he worked overtime to learn his craft and succeed thereby earning the nickname “Charlie Hustle.” Bruce Lee also overcame obstacles to become one of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century. Some would suggest because both men were relatively small people they possessed a Napoleon complex and became overly aggressive to compensate for their size. I do not believe this is a valid argument as I have met many people, of all sizes, shapes and from just about every field of endeavor imaginable, who have gone on to accomplish great things, not because they were particularly talented or brilliant, but because they simply persisted with the same sort of tenacity exhibited by Rose and Lee.
I have yet to meet the person who wins at every game he participates in, that he is undefeated in virtually everything he does. I suspect if such a person existed, we would probably consider his flawless character boring. The fact is, we all suffer setbacks of some kind, be it large or small. It is only natural. To overcome such obstacles and succeed it is necessary to work harder than the next person. When it comes to success, some people are just plain lucky, but they are few and far between. For most of us though, persistence and determination are essential elements for success.
In my office, I have a framed quote from President Calvin Coolidge who said:
“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.”
I believe in the power of the human spirit, but it must come from within not from without.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.