Persistence: It Matters


By Nut

I’m a big believer in persistence. Granted, believing full heartedly means I have a fear of becoming “that guy” who keeps trying to achieve something that clearly will never happen. No one wants to be pathetic.

But you have to deal with some of that if you believe in the power of persistence.

Both sides of the issue have been brought up on this blog and other, more established bloggers have discussed it as well.

Take a look at this graph on a post about becoming an expert at something. The difference between sucking and being an expert is one thing: persistence.

Here is what I have to say about persistence, and it comes from the movie Without Limits, which is about the late long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine:

Steve: I can endure more pain than anyone you’ve ever met. That’s why I can beat anyone I’ve ever met.

It’s the same attitude that a writer takes when he/she creates a spreadsheet and charts and plots and calculates the odds in getting his or her story published. If you send it out to enough places, to enough editors, and you keep making revisions and trying again and again and again, and after you get rejected you keep updating your spreadsheet and polishing and listening to advice . . . you’ll get your story published.

To be clear, I’m not a spreadsheet writer—not that there’s anything wrong with that.

That’s the beauty of persistence: It’s unstoppable.

And it applies to any goal you set in life, you just have to want it bad enough to overcome all the failures and all the rejection you will endure. Because trust me, it will come.

If you take that one variable out of the equation (that is, how long you will be trying to achieve a goal), then you’ve increased your odds of success immeasurable.

Here are the goals I feel I’ve been trying to get at for a long time and have had no luck:
- Getting published
- Getting a really good ad portfolio together

I’ve probably worked harder on the first one but talked more about the second one, and this blog is making me realize how much more I need to just shut up about it and work on it. But I could’ve given up on these things a long time ago.

And I will, just not yet. Not yet . . .

What goals have you achieved thanks to persistence?

PS By the way, that cheesy last line was straight out of Gladiator for those of you thinking “wow that was cheesy.” Just so you know.


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