"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 are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave."
— (John) Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge was one heck of a wise guy. He was our 29th AND 30th President and served in that capacity from 1921 to 1929! In the above quote, Calvin outlined one of the most important concepts we need to know to achieve success. I’m sorry, did I say know? I meant more than just know, I meant we need to understand this concept in deep in our bones, it needs to become part of our lives, part of our genetic make-up, we need to understand clearly and beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is nothing that we cannot achieve with enough persistence.
I’m talking unrelenting, unapologetic persistence of the kind that caused a trickle of water to carve the Grand Canyon. The kind of persistence that made Thomas Edison reply to a detractor, "I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work." I’m talking about the kind of persistence that caused an old man on social security to go from restaurant to restaurant trying to sell his chicken recipe. Yep, Colonel Sanders had to get through over 1,000 NOs before he got to his very first YES! That’s the kind of relentless persistence that it takes to succeed.
You can find countless examples of this kind of persistence throughout history. Just read the biography of someone you admire. A historical figure or a celebrity or business person. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts you’ll find just such a story of persistence in their lives as well. Just recently, I read about Will Smith who said, “I absolutely, positively will not quit until I win.” It’s this attitude that has taken him from his humble beginnings in Philadelphia to make him the superstar he is today.
You and I can develop this kind of persistence. We can determine that we simply won’t quit. The only sure path to failure is through quitting. As long as we continue to work, to try, to persevere then we simply cannot fail.
I really like Mr. Smith’s attitude and I want to adopt it as my own.
I absolutely, positively will not quit until I win.
How about you?