In 1953, a beekeeper from Auckland, New Zealand earned world recognition with fame and fortune to follow. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his accomplishment, Sir Edmund Hillary and his native guide, Tenzing Norgay became the first two people to climb Mount Everest and safely return after having tried and failed on two previous attempts.
Hillary had two obvious character strengths which literally took him to the very top ... vision and PERSISTENCE. Without Persistence, all his skills would have meant nothing. These qualities and characteristics are the same as those you need to lead you to the top of your mountain. You are confronted by mountains every day. You can either climb the mountains, or remain in the foothills. Any successful person will tell you that Persistence is absolutely essential to climbing the mountains and changing your results.
The individuals who remain in the foothills have never chosen to develop this strength. These people dream of being stars. They want to receive the fame and fortune, but fame is not a common suitor. Fame only comes calling after a high price has been paid, and many people march in the foothills and refuse to pay that price.
Napoleon Hill wrote in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, “There may be no heroic connotation to the word persistence, but that quality is to the character of the human being what carbon is to steel.”
Hill was right. Persistence is a unique mental strength, a strength which is essential to combat the fierce power of repeated rejections and numerous other obstacles that sit in waiting, and are all a part of winning in a fast-moving, ever-changing world.
There are hundreds of biographies of highly successful men and women who have cut a path for others to follow while leaving their mark on the scrolls of history. Every one of these great individuals were persistent. In many cases, it was the only quality which separated them from everyone else.
Consider Ben Hogan. He weighed only 135 pounds, but every ounce was saturated with Persistence. Born into a poor family, Hogan began to caddy at a local golf club as a boy to earn extra money for his family. This led to the birth of a dream. He would become a great golfer.
Through a great deal of hard work, practice and Persistence, Ben Hogan became one of the world’s greatest golfers. In 1948, he won the United States Open Championship. His accomplishments earned him world recognition, but he had not yet faced his mountain.
The next year, Hogan was involved in a head-on collision with a bus, and he was not expected to survive his injuries. He did, but the doctors said he would never walk again. That was their opinion, not Ben Hogan’s. He insisted his golf clubs be put in the corner of his hospital room as he began to visualize himself playing golf again.
One year later, Hogan won the United States Open Championship again. The next year he won three major championships. In all, 54 of his victories followed that near-tragic accident. Does Persistence pay? Ask Ben Hogan.
Another person who has aptly demonstrated how far Persistence can take you is the late Charlie Boswell. Boswell was a Birmingham, Alabama businessman, salesman, author and golfer. He holds numerous national and international golf championships. But what really distinguishes him was that he was blind. That’s right. Charlie Boswell lost his sight after being blown off a tank in the Second World War. Selling, golfing and writing were all the pursuits Boswell had engaged in after his tragic mishap.
Do you think Charlie Boswell is persistent? You alone decide to quit or to continue when those inevitable mountains loom up on the road to your goal.
Whatever you conceive and believe, through persistence you must achieve. Decide RIGHT NOW to be one of those people who make it happen, to be one of the group who receives the lion’s share of the profits. Understand that to join this select group of big producers, you must begin your Persistence exercises now. Make Persistence your most well-developed habit. Persistence cannot be replaced by any other quality. Superior skills will not make up for it. A well-rounded formal education cannot replace it. Nor will calculated plans, nor a magnetic personality. When you are persistent, you will become a leader in your industry.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Calvin Coolidge
The people who never tackle the mountains, who perpetually wander in the foothills most of their lives have, in my opinion, lied to themselves and everyone else who would listen so often and for so long that they are no longer even aware of what they are doing.
They say they are content with their results. They will say that climbing a mountain is not important to them ... that they are getting by just fine the way they are. Odds are, they secretly started to climb the mountain years ago and got scared. They hit the terror barrier, quickly retreated to their comfort zone, and have been hiding behind their own false rationale ever since.