The power of persistence

by Kate on September 27, 2012

If we are in the business of causing significant things to happen, then we must learn how to persist in the face of objection.

Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence.”  If it mattered in the early twentieth century, when Coolidge was President of the United States, how much more important today, when instant gratification is so often expected.

My dictionary (Concise Oxford, for the language geeks) defines “persist” as “continue firmly or obstinately in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. The antonym is “sporadic”.

Persistence is so important because we simply can’t expect to achieve significant things without sticking at them over the long term, whilst encountering difficulty as a result of unhelpful internal voices, the naysayers, running after the latest “new shiny ball” or lack of self discipline.  Above all when we start something new it takes time to get good at it; there’s an inevitable grinding phase.

So, sporadic efforts at marketing, or sales calls will almost certainly not produce the business results we hope for, no matter how well the individual activity is executed. The returns come when we continue over the long term even though at first there may be no sign of progress.

This is day 5 in my Project 365 (a post a day, for a year). There are other things I have to do tonight, and I could think of many reasons not to write. At the moment, I find it a challenge to pop out a fresh article every day.  I like to think things through before I write, so the relative spontaneity of this approach is tough.

Yet it’s by pushing through my objection that I’ll discover whatever is to be found on the other side of this challenge. Simply writing this piece has highlighted how easy it is to give up, and the importance of figuring out a process for writing that works for me, and delivers value for you.

The 300 or so words in this post have been agonisingly difficult to write. I am hopeful that in 360 days time I’ll recognise they were a step on the path to discovering more about the power of persistence.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate Groom September 28, 2012 at 5:36 am

Thanks, Deb. Yes, it’s a huge commitment. There will be something to discover from this :-)

2 Deb Evans September 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm

You are a brave person to make such a commitment and I’m so glad you did. I enjoy your posts and look forward to what you have to share each day. Thank you!

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