“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Winston Churchill
The idea of success is talked about time and time again.
People everywhere preach that they’ve figured out the formula for success.
They say stuff like “5 Easy Step To Ultimate Mastery!” and “7 Steps To One Million Dollars!”
They complicate success and make it seem like you can go from zero to hero in two days tied in with a cheap sales pitch like, “Only available for a limited time so act now!”
Their intentions are probably good, but there promises are false.
Success is defined differently for each person. I can’t define success for you. But I can show you the one trait you need to reach your own definition of success.
It’s something that took me a long time to figure out, but now that I have it–I can’t be stopped.
What am I talking about?
“Nothing in this 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 failures.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
For most of my life, I have missed the mark on persistence. I have an addictive personality and have always gone full-fledged into whatever I’m interested in.
I did magic professionally when I was 13 years old. I competed with top level grapplers and future MMA fighters when I was 15 years old. I played poker professionally when I was 17 years old.
I’ve done a lot of things, but have always quit or burnt out after a year’s time. It wasn’t until I understood the power of persistence that I figured out how to truly achieve success.
Ways To Boost Your Persistence
Persistence is just like will power–it can be strengthened.
Persistence is not something that you are born with.
You have to grow it by pushing your own limits.
There’s a reason why Mixed Martial Arts Fighters are the most persistent human beings on the planet. They take beatings each and every day so they can train their body for the true beating when they step into the cage. With each training session they are boosting their levels of persistence to unimaginable heights.
You can do the same without getting punched in the face.
All you have to do is push forward and push hard. Each and every day you must do what makes you come alive. Whatever that is, do it to the point where you usually stop.
Feel the fatigue and then push past it just a little bit. Spend an extra fifteen minutes this time. Then next time push it to 30 minutes extra.
With time, you are going to boost your levels of persistence to the levels of top athletes and entrepreneurs.
Let’s do a simple visualization exercise to maximize your persistence. You can complete this exercise without pen and paper, but it’s much better to do it with pen and paper, as it will solidify the visualization.
1. Imagine yourself five years from now if you have persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? Are you happy and fulfilled?
2. Imagine yourself ten years from now if you have persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? How much more progress have you made? Are you happy and fulfilled?
3. Imagine yourself twenty years from now if you have persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? How great does it feel to have stuck it out this far? How happy and fulfilled are you?
Now it’s time to do the exact opposite.
1. Imagine yourself five years from now if you have not persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? What job will you be working? Are you happy and fulfilled?
2. Imagine yourself ten years from now if you have not persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? Are you starting to feel regret? How happy and fulfilled are you?
3. Imagine yourself twenty years from now if you have not persisted with your current goals. How old will you be? What will your life be like? Take yourself through an average day. How much regret do you have? How poorly do you feel?
This exercise works wonders to give you a greater perspective on life.
Personally I imagine myself five years from now having a drink with one of my other entrepreneur friends in a foreign city like Bangkok, Berlin, Madrid, or Paris. We are having a great time and talking about the early days and how glad we are that we stuck with it. That’s my fuel to the fire.
Reaching your goals can take a long time, and the path is definitely not linear.
You will hit plenty of bumps in the road. You may even find that you are looking down the wrong road.
But by using persistence, you change the game. No longer does success become a question of what or how, it becomes a question of when.
You keep moving forward, you keep putting in the hours and success becomes inevitable.