There are all kinds of definitions of success: becoming rich and/or famous, graduating with honors, getting that dream job, raising children who grow up to be nice people, etc.
And all kinds of people become successful: young, old, and everything in between.
But no matter what yardstick you use to measure success, there’s one trait that successful people have in common. They’re all persistent.
You don’t become successful without being persistent. You just don’t, no matter who you are. And there’s sure no such thing as an overnight success. You have to work for it. No one’s born a success.
And there’s usually failure along the way — sometimes lots of failures. Just take a look at how many of these success quotes mention failure.
But when you really want it, you keep going anyway. You regroup and revise. You get help. You practice when everyone else is out having fun. You persist.
No one wants to hear that success takes work. We all want to hear that one day a fairy godmother will zap us with the wand of success. But the truth is, it’s actually easier to just be persistent and get it done ourselves. It’s also a whole lot more satisfying.
I love this story from Dave Ramsey, where he described the very early days of his business when he had a new class called “Life After Debt”:
“I set the chairs for 135 people and I talked about it on the radio. Of course we were on one radio station that was in bankruptcy, the irony of ironies. We talked about it and so I just knew that this dream that I had of helping people learn how to handle money with common sense — handle money God’s ways — I just knew that they were going to flock in there. So I had a hundred and thirty five chairs set. Four people came.”
FOUR people. In that big room with all those empty chairs.
Do you think he felt discouraged? Or embarrassed that almost no one showed?
I’m guessing so.
He could have thanked those folks for coming out and canceled the class. But he stuck with it, revamped, revised, and did a heck of a lot of work over the years. He’s had millions of people go through Financial Peace University since. And by all accounts, he’s now a huge success.
Maybe your dream is a little different. Maybe you just want to get out of debt, and be free of that financial stress. Or maybe you want to get a promotion at work, or learn to ice skate.
Whatever it is, persistence is a critical trait to have. If you’ve got that, you’ve got a big part of the battle licked. So keep it up.
Stick with it, and make your dream come true.