“If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”
~ Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”
~ Marie Curie (1867-1934)

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”
~ Walter Elliot (1842-1928)

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
~ Nelson Mandela

What is Perseverance?

The dictionary defines perseverance as “the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” Or as the Beatle’s song said, “just keep on keeping on.”

Let’s look at an example of perseverance: the career of Milton Hershey. A fourth grade drop out, he became a printer’s apprentice. He got fired. Next, he convinced a candy maker to let him work for him. After finishing his apprenticeship, he opened a candy business and failed. He opened a second candy factory and failed again. Then he tried a third candy factory and failed a third time. Now, at his point, most people would say, “Milton, three strikes and you’re out. You need to find some other line of work.”

Fortunately the three strikes rule applies only to baseball and criminal convictions. Hershey then founded the Lancaster Caramel Company. His caramel recipe was successful. He later sold this company and started the Hershey Company. The rest is history. The term Hershey bar became a synonym for mike chocolate.

That is but one example, and you can be sure that as you start to look around, you will be presented with but hundreds and hundreds of examples of the most successful people who have gotten where they are by demonstrating steady perseverance. The level of success that they experience can be attributed to this trait. Most people look at the current situation and do not consider the steps that successful individuals have taken to get where they are today.

As you develop personally and professionally, make sure you take time daily to enhance the world class trait of perseverance.

© Copyright by Stephen Campbell


Steady Perseverance

Steady perseverance is taking a one positive action after the next toward a specific accomplishment, performing each action with excellence, and enjoying each accomplishment without anxiety about the future.

Perseverance is indeed a world class trait displayed by those who have a meaningful direction in their lives. Without a meaningful direction, perseverance can be wasted on harmful or time-wasting pursuits. However, when we know where we are headed – even if we cannot see the finish line – the essential trait of perseverance gives us fulfillment, energy, and staying-power in the most challenging of times.

We must also be aware of three negative traits. These are desperation, discouragement, and cynicism. These traits are dangerous thieves; they will drain positive energy, waste valuable time, and steal one’s emotional and physical health. Desperation, discouragement, and cynicism persevere only in self-pity, doubt, and skepticism leading to self-destructive behaviors.

When we choose a specific destination or goal and move toward it with perseverance, we are able to transform these self-defeating traits into determination, encouragement, and faith. By applying these positive traits toward a worthwhile purpose, we can make significant contributions to our world.

When you feel discouraged, seek encouragement from others who recognize your talents and believe in your goals. When you feel desperate or cynical, know that when you are ready and willing, you can transform these feelings into determination and faith. Then persevere by accomplishing one small task with excellence – then another, and another.

Ask yourself: What is one meaningful destination I must reach during my lifetime? What small contribution can I make today that will lead me closer to that destination?

When determination, encouragement, and faith are driven by steady perseverance, you will act with effectiveness and power, and your natural talents will move you closer to your most cherished dreams.

Wishing you blessings and success!

© Copyright 2009 by Steve Brunkhorst. All rights reserved. Steve is a professional life strategies coach, inspirational author, and the editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration. Find many resources for achievement by visiting www.AchieveEzine.com.