If there appears to be one single thing that best predicts success in life, and we’re not talking just about financial success, it is…
If you persevere long enough at something, and continue to adjust what you’re doing all along the way, you are bound to eventually succeed.
From our series on New Years Resolutions, we see that persevering isn’t easy. Our heart, our emotions, get easily discouraged by failure and rejection, and our drive to succeed must be strong enough to keep us going.
To help motivate you to persevere with what is important in your life, here are a couple of stories.
- When he was 7, he and his family lost their home and he had to start working to help support them.
- When he was 9, his mother died.
- As a kid he was kicked in the head by a mule, and also nearly drowned. During his life he suffered from malaria twice, syphilis, and smallpox.
- When he was 21, he started a business and it failed.
- When he was 23, he ran for the state legislature, lost his job, and was turned down for law school. He also borrowed money and started another business which went bankrupt a year later.
- When he was 26 his fiance died. Shortly afterward his only sister died in childbirth.
- When he was 28, he was defeated as speaker of the state legislature.
- When he was 33, he ran for the US House of Representatives and lost.
- When he was 39, he ran for the House of Representatives again and lost again.
- When he was 45, he ran for the US Senate and lost.
- When he was 47, he tried to become the Republican vice presidential candidate and lost.
- When he was 49, he ran for the US Senate again and lost again.
- When he was 51, he was elected President of the US
Would you have kept going?
What if Lincoln had given up when he was 21 after his first business failed and took a job as a shop keeper or day laborer? How do you know you’re any different?
Here are two more stories from
this website [UPDATE: The website appears to have shut down]
- In the 1940s, a young inventor, Chester Carlson, took his idea to 20 corporations, including some of the biggest in the country. They all turned him down. In 1947, after seven long years of rejections [emphasis added], he finally got a tiny company in Rochester (the Haloid Company), New York, to purchase the rights to his electrostatic paper-copying process. Haloid became Xerox Corporation, and both it and Carlson became very rich.
- Louis L’Amour, successful author of over 100 western novels with over 200 million copies in print, received 350 rejections before [emphasis added] he made his first sale. He later became the first American novelist to receive a special congressional gold medal in recognition of his distinguished career as an author and contributor to the nation through his historically based works.
Next time you are thinking of giving up – whether it’s a diet or exercise routine, a job, or your art – stop and think. How much do you want this?
Then pick yourself up and persevere. Who knows what you can accomplish with your life.
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Another Interesting post:
Make your own silver lining out of pain & adversity