How Long Must I Persist To Achieve Success?

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Post written by Peter G. James Sinclair.

In a recent interview my interviewer, who had done his research by reading many of my past blog articles, said that the outstanding quality represented in my life, as recorded in all my writings, was my ability to persist.

That statement caused me to pause for a moment and review my life. To be honest, until that point I hadn’t really thought about it much.

But the more I considered it, it started to raise a couple of questions in my mind’s eye.

  • Is persistence something that you are born with?
  • Or is persistence something that one needs to develop?

I really don’t have a definitive answer for such questions. All I know is this – that unless you persist you will never, ever succeed at anything.

One of the reasons that we often fail to persist is that when we set out to do a task or pursue a dream we are quickly faced with rejection.

But it is so important to recognize that in most cases rejection is simply another human’s opinion.

My Current Persistence Project

Currently I am embarking upon the pursuit of a literary agent and an international publisher for my works of fiction.

To date I have queried in excess of 100 literary agents and have received at least 60 rejections.

So what does that mean?

I have a more than 40% chance of success – and while I’m at it I will seek out other agents, improve my presentation of my creations and myself, and thus increase my odds for success.

Persist. Persist. Persist.

This skill of persistence is something that I have had to develop throughout my entire life – and it has taught me many things.

Persistence Taught Me…

Persistence taught me how to swim even though I nearly drowned.

Persistence taught me to play the piano although I was humiliated when  I failed one of my piano exams.

Persistence taught me to self-publish and successfully sell 3 books although the previous 3 books had been rejected by just about every literary agent and publisher in my nation.

Persistence taught me to start a domestic/commercial cleaning business when I was retrenched. I have never worked for another man in a full-time capacity since.

Persistence taught me to start a web design company when I was neither a web designer nor a technician.

Persistence taught me how to sell profitable businesses when people around me said I couldn’t and that I wouldn’t.

Persistence taught me to purchase a hair salon when I had no experience in that industry.

Persistence helped me to overcome a debilitating bout of pneumonia and two crippling frozen shoulder afflictions – along with a dose of faith in someone much bigger and smarter than myself.

Persistence taught me that anything is possible, anything can be learned, anything can be overcome, and that anything can be achieved.

Steve Pavlina defines persistence as, ‘the ability to maintain action regardless of your feelings. You press on even when you feel like quitting.’

So Where Do You Find This Unbeatable Spirit?

Well there are a number of ways to strengthen the persistent streak within your being, but know this that it requires discipline – self discipline.

But know this. You have it within you to succeed.

So here they are.

1. Have a HUGE Dream

Your desire must be greater than your mire, and your BIG dream will shine as a beacon, even in your darkest night, to encourage you to press on and to guide you.

2. Read BIG THINKING Books

Books – from the Bible to motivational/inspirational books to biographies about overcomers. Fill your heart and mind with the fuel found within these books that will build belief within you and transport you all the way to success.

3. Associate with BIG THINKERS

Take them out to lunch. Shout them a coffee. Ask questions. Listen. Take notes. Interview. Watch or listen to recordings made by big thinkers. Success is contagious.

4. Discipline YOUR DAY

Productivity arises from a disciplined life.

As I currently work from my home office, and in fact it has always been my desire to do so, I find myself in a local coffee shop at 6am each morning where I spend at least two hours in meditation, prayer, study, journaling, writing (like this article you’re reading right now) and planning.

On returning to my home office I have, awaiting me on my desk, a written list of the 6 major things I need to complete that day in order to move my life and businesses forward.

I systematically work through that list until completion. If anything is not completed on that day it is simply transferred to the next day’s list of 6.

At this point in my life I am spending my afternoons at my local library where I am editing my latest book. Each day I tackle just one chapter. By removing myself from my home office for a few hours into a quiet environment, such as a library, it helps me to focus more effectively.

So let me encourage you to persist, and maybe you’d like to add your own answer to the question in the comments section below – ‘How long must I persist to achieve success?’

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