One of the most important qualities for all of us to develop is the ability to persevere through life’s obstacles and challenges. I believe it’s so important to continually recognize that EVERYTHING COUNTS in our life. Every action you take daily either benefits you in some way or hurts you. Everything either adds up or takes away. Everything either contributes to your success or moves you away from it. Nothing you do is neutral. And all success is ultimately the triumph of persistence. In this lesson we’ll discuss the Power of Persistence – as it relates to helping you bounce back from setbacks and motivate you to become unstoppable en-route toward achieving your goals.
Step 1 to becoming unstoppable is to know where you are today as well as know where you want to go. In other words, shooting darts in the dark and hoping for the best is equivalent to living your life without clear written goals. Don’t worry if your goal seems unrealistic. Before the Wright Brothers, it was unrealistic to think that a person could fly in an airplane. And before yesterday December 8, 2007, a sophomore has never won a Heisman Trophy. It took 72 years of celebrating the most valuable player in college football, before this year’s winner Tim Tebow, a sophomore, won the coveted trophy. Tim finished the regular football season as the only quarterback in college football history to rush and pass for more than 20 touchdowns in one season. To be exact he had 29 passing touchdowns, and 22 rushing touchdowns. That is one astonishing feat! Using Tim as an example, I think it’s safe to say that if you can dream it; want it bad enough; and are willing to sacrifice and persevere – almost anything is possible.
Step 2 is to make peace with the fact that you will face one obstacle after another in achieving your goal. Some goals are short term and can be achieved in several months or a year. Other goals might take a lifetime to achieve. In either case, you will continue to face obstacles and you need to prepare yourself to meet them head on with confidence. You have to ACCEPT that they’ll be there. How could it be any other way? No human being is all-knowing, so setbacks and mistakes are BUILT INTO our life’s process.
Step 3 is to persist and overcome each obstacle along the way UNTIL you reach your goal. The passion and drive to persist under the toughest circumstances is what separates those who make it to the finish line like Tebow from those who give up and throw in the towel.
When obstacles show up...you must PERSIST. When you don’t know which way to turn...get help and PERSIST. If you run out of money or resources...find a way to keep going and PERSIST. And most importantly, if you ever think that you’re defeated...PERSIST. Help and assistance for the most persistent individuals miraculously seems to appear from some of the most unexpected people and places at the most opportune time. Persistent individuals just seem to find a way to take one more step forward and keep going when things get tough. The history books are full of these inspiring stories.
Do the above and the goal that you set can be yours. And when you get to your goal and look back at all of the obstacles you overcame, you’ll end up a stronger and more determined person. When you first started out, you probably didn’t think you had what it takes. You had to “grow into” your goal by utilizing the power of persistence. You didn’t start with sufficient knowledge, skills, or courage. But constantly moving forward and persisting helped you to develop the very qualities that you were lacking.
Obstacles are tough. They knock you down. But they are not meant to KEEP you down. They are meant to stimulate your will, your courage, and your passion. Anybody can succeed and do well standing up with the wind at their backs. But what about when the wind is at your face and you find yourself ON your back? As Tiger Woods said about the bad days, “…you have to find it within yourself to get it done.”
Researchers have found that people that set clear cut written goals for themselves, and refuse to quit, will bounce back from any setbacks and achieve MOST of their goals. In other words you can achieve any goal you set for yourself as long as you keep on keeping on, and refuse to allow the inevitable setbacks and disappointments to dissuade you from your course.
I was fortunate enough to watch Tim Tevow, the University of Florida quarterback play in several football games this season. From the very first time I saw him play, I knew he was a very special athlete. Although he was young, he could teach us all a thing or two about the POWER of PERSISTENCE. Every weekend he overcame tough obstacles. He never quit and always gave 110%. I’m very proud of Tim and wish him, his family, and his team mates and coaches’ the VERY BEST.